Initial data from two Maersk Drilling jackups show that hybrid power plants using lithium-ion energy storage have resulted in 25% emissions reductions compared with those rigs’ baselines. The two CJ70 jackup rigs – the Maersk Intrepid and Maersk Integrator – were retrofitted with BlueVault batteries from Siemens Energy. They are the first jackups to employ a combination of hybrid, low-emission solutions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
The batteries have enabled Maersk Drilling to reduce the runtime of onboard combustion engines and maintain an operational setpoint where energy efficiency is maximized. The initial data point shows that Maersk Intrepid in the first month of operations with the full set of upgrades installed was able to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% and NOx emissions by 95% compared with the baseline average for the rig.
“We’re thrilled to receive a promising first data set on emission reductions,” said Caroline Alting, Head of Integrity & Projects for Maersk Drilling. “It’s still too early to make any definitive conclusions on average emission reductions over time, but the preliminary results are promising with reductions around 25% compared to the rig’s baseline, driven by both energy-saving technology and behavioral changes supported by the low-emission package.”
The BlueVault battery system is suited for both all-electric and hybrid power applications and is specifically designed to minimize emissions and ensure continuity of power on offshore vessels. The solution has been installed on various marine vessels worldwide, including the West Mira ultra-deep semisubmersible, the world’s first low-emissions drilling rig to use lithium-ion energy storage.
Offshore rigs are ideally suited for hybrid power plants, as they have highly variable power consumption for drilling, dynamic positioning and station keeping. The diesel-electric solution with BlueVault energy storage will reduce the transient load on generator sets, meaning that basic requirements can be met by fewer engines operating at a higher load, thus decreasing carbon emissions.
The batteries’ temperature is regulated with a water-cooling system, which works as a passive safety layer to prevent thermal runaway. Another differentiating feature is the system’s digitalized condition monitoring system, which provides state of health and state of charge transparency for individual cells to maximize the batteries’ performance and lifespan.
Siemens Energy also supplied BlueDrive power electronics and advanced monitoring software.
“We are proud to contribute to Maersk Drilling’s strategy to set a new industry standard for low-emission offshore drilling and look forward to bringing this highly sustainable solution to additional rigs in the future,” said Jennifer Hooper, Senior Vice President, Industrial Applications Solutions for Siemens Energy.
Maersk Drilling applied for project funding through the NOx Fund – a Norwegian fund dedicated to reducing NOx emissions. The fund is contributing a grant of up to 80% of project costs, subject to verification of the emission-reducing upgrades. It has high hopes that the ultra-harsh jackups will be a benchmark for the offshore industry as it drives toward emissions reductions.
The global fleet of jackups is nearly 500 units. Siemens Energy believes that approximately 300 of these may be eligible candidates for similar upgrades with BlueVault batteries. Upgrading all of these drilling rigs with batteries would potentially reduce emissions by more than 1 million tons of CO2 per year*, equivalent to annual emissions from 725,000 automobiles**.
* Estimate may differ due to different designs and sizes of rigs, with different consumptions and emissions. The CJ70s are among the biggest units; therefore, the savings are likely to be bigger than those applicable for smaller rigs.
** With an average of 15.000 km/year and an average of 120 CO2/km.