Bosch Rexroth Ghana recently completed repairs to contaminated HPU double pumps on the Framo Crude Oil Pumping System belonging to Shell Oil and Exploration in Nigeria. The hydraulically driven submerged cargo pumps are used to provide safe, efficient and flexible cargo handling of liquid cargo. This project was completed ahead of deadline and also provided a unique opportunity for Shell Nigeria to reduce its total cost of ownership, as well as improve maintenance turnaround times.
In January 2020, Shell Nigeria sought out repairs for nine of its HPU double pumps. They turned to Bosch Rexroth Ghana to carry out the repairs. In establishing a repair plan, the Bosch Rexroth Ghana team drew on the technical expertise of Bosch Rexroth South Africa, headed up by Repairs Manager, Ian Kidson, supported by workshop technicians Ronald Seller, Eugene Roos and Allan Page. The team proposed a total hydraulic investigation and inspection, which found that all of the pumps were contaminated.
Shell granted the order for repairs in July 2020, in the midst of South Africa’s lockdown. However, due to lockdown restrictions, the factories were not able to produce the required spare parts immediately. The Bosch Rexroth repair teams opted to carry out the repairs in stages, as spare parts became available, allowing them to complete the repairs within the stipulated project timelines.
In the interim, Shell continued its operations, using its two spare pump units. However, the required repairs were critical, as the pumps were part of an asset which pumps crude oil from the oil production platform into floating vessels – essential to Shell’s operations. Bosch Rexroth prioritised the repair plan, to ensure that Shell’s operations would not be hampered.
Under the guidance of Kidson, the team also directed the repair work, which included de-assembly of the double pumps A4VSO; stripping and analysis; identification of faulty components and the compilation of a detailed inspection report. “Repairs were completed on the first four pump units in December, which was sufficient in preventing any downtime to Shell’s operations,” explains Booth.
The remaining five pumps were repaired and re-certified in January 2021, with the project concluding on 28 January 2021 (30 days earlier than the expected completion date of 5 March). All commissioning was carried out by Bosch Rexroth SA personnel and Shell resumed its activities successfully, following the completion of the repairs.
The repair project is a huge success for the Bosch Rexroth West Africa team. It also serves as a milestone for Bosch Rexroth’s Nigerian business development as it pursues market share growth in the large, but competitive, oil & gas sector. “We are pleased to report that the pumps were repaired and tested to OEM standard, ahead of the project deadline,” says Alex Booth, Bosch Rexroth Regional Manager: West Africa.
“At the time of global oil price instability, providing timely repairs and alternative solutions to Shell Bonga FPSO as well as an analysis of inspection report and OEM standard test certificates, has generated a lot of commendations and applauds from Shell/Snepco’s maintenance team,” said Sunday Alabi, Bosch Rexroth Business Development Manager: Nigeria.
The repairs to the pumps carry a six-month warranty and are further supported by a proposed agreement between both parties – Shell and Bosch Rexroth – to continue working together.
For Bosch Rexroth Ghana’s workshop team, this project also proved a very successful training project. “We provided hands-on training on the stripping, quoting and rebuild process as well as the testing of the pumps,” says Booth.