BMT has completed an upgrade of Single Point Mooring (SPM) Telemetry and Control Systems (SPM-TCS) for Terminales Marítimas Patagónicas S.A. (Termap). The systems play an integral role in providing real-time operational and environmental data, as well as critical control functions required to manage the integrity of the CALM (Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring) Buoys that currently operate at Termap’s Caleta Córdova and Caleta Olivia terminals.
The CALM Buoys are used to offload crude oil from deposits in the San Jorge basin. During offload operation, a tugboat is used to tow the tanker and to stabilise it during wind and ocean current changes. Therefore, awareness of the environmental and operational variables and remote control of valves, alarms and emergency shutdown are vital for safe operations and integrity management.
Jose Luis Marzocca, Maritime Superintendent at Termap says: “We were seeking to improve the information system for the tanker approach to the CALM buoy during mooring operation and to implement a monitoring system for the three-way (Buoy-Tanker-Tugboat) configuration that enabled the verification of the safety conditions in a permanent form. BMT’s proposed solution allows real-time visualization of the vessels’ positions, headings and velocities, as well as monitoring of key variables such as Tanker to Buoy distance and approach speed. By opting to integrate AIS technology into the telemetry system, there is no need to board any electronic equipment from the terminal (radio/GPS/antennas) on to the tanker. In this way, we reduced costs by avoiding the provision of such devices and the costs of intensive maintenance caused by exposition to damages or failures under extremes sea conditions.”
In addition, the upgrade allows the terminal to remotely switch between the redundant Remote Telemetry Units, substituting a manual switch located at the buoy. Also, faster response alarm and control systems provide greater efficiency and safety in terminal operations. BMT delivered an overall system upgrade design which included software development, and the production of the AIS Modules and Radio Repeaters. BMT also delivered on-site upgrade of the master, portable and remote telemetry units.
Andrew Aldrich, Operations Manager at BMT comments: “Given the fact that 33.4% of crude oil produced in Argentina is received via these two terminals, one of the critical requirements of this project was to ensure that any upgrade work didn’t affect or stop current operations. Therefore, to minimise disruption, we selected a phased approach to the installation work required.”
BMT has a 20-year track record of successfully delivering SPM Telemetry Systems to clients around the world, working in partnership with organisations such as Petrobras, Bluewater and Termap.