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Signal International Wins Power Barge Order

Signal International has been awarded a $30 million contract by Waller Marine, Inc. of Houston, Texas. Under the contract Signal will build and support the outfitting of two 300 ft x 100 ft power barges. Each barge will have a single GE 7FA Gas Turbine and 171 MW generator.

On completion of the barges, Waller Marine will install and operate the units in Venezuela. The barges will be built to ABS classification at Signal's Orange, Texas, shipyard.

Signal recently concluded a three-year transformation of the Orange fabrication facility and shipyard. Nearly $40 million has been invested in process improvements and continuous flow manufacturing methods. Implementation of modular construction and pre-outfitting techniques will facilitate production of the power barges, with delivery slated for August 17, 2010.

Dick Marler, Signal's president and chief executive officer commented, "We are pleased to be working with Waller Marine on this significant power barge project. Our investment in Signal's Orange facility to restore it's capability as a shipyard is paying off."

"The improvements we have made at Orange will be enhanced by a new side launch capability this year," Mr. Marler continued. "We are entering the shipbuilding market with all of the resources necessary to be competitive with regard to cost and schedule for a variety of ship and vessel designs."

Of Floating Power Barges

More than 60 floating power stations are in operation around the world, deploying some 4 GW at continental shores where electricity is most needed. Though these feature a variety of power sources (including nuclear, gas and heavy fuels), most are power barges - they do not have their own propulsion systems and would have to be towed to desired locations.

Some are of extraordinary size or feature novel designs. The largest of these, for example, is a 200 MW unit at Mangalore, southwest India, according to Waller Marine, Inc., the project's designer. The maritime services provider is also currently carrying out design work on an even larger project, a 520 MW combined-cycle facility that will provide power to New York City. And at the same time, it is working on a modularized floating integrated gasification combined-cycle power plant, which would be fueled by petcoke.

More recent examples include the two revolutionary mobile power stations developed separately by companies in Russia and Germany: Russian investment management company United Industrial Corp.'s (Russian acronym OPK) floating nuclear power station and RWE Power's pilot combined-cycle gas turbine power barge.

Both of these projects are expected to be set afloat within the next two years. About 450 feet long, OPK's floating nuclear power station is expected to have a total capacity of 70 MW. It will be located in the north of the Russian Federation, where key energy supplies are lacking, OPK said. The reactors' thermal energy can be sent up to 180 miles away. The plant's design lifespan is 40 years, with refueling evey two to three years. the project is said to have a 12-year payback.

RWE Power's power barge will feature a combined-cycle gas turbine power station erected on floating pontoons. When deployed, the 98-foot by 328-foot units would be anchored and connected to the gas or electricity grid, providing electricity to shortage-stricken countries on the eastern Mediterranean and on the Black Sea.

power header global


This October, meanwhile, German company MAN Diesel announced a new direction in floating power plants, saying it had signed a contract with Turkish company Karadeniz Powership Co. Ltd. for the supply up to 24 large-bore power-generation diesel engines that would be installed on four "power ships". The contract, which MAN says is worth over €100 million, includes 21 type-18V51/60DF dual-fuel engines and three 14V48/60 HFO engines, with a total output of 400 MW.

The ships are former freighters that will be converted into floating diesel power plants, which will be connected to local power grids to temporarily cover demand whenever onsite power plants cannot be built quickly enough. Unlike so-called "power barges", the "power ships" will be equipped with their own propulsion engines and therefore will not need to be towed. They are expected to be used in Africa, Pakistan, regions in the Middle East, and around the Mediterranean.


Karadeniz's floating power plant
Floating an idea: Turkish company Karadeniz Powership Co. Ltd. plans to convert former freighters into floating diesel power plants using 24 large-bore power-generation diesel engines made by German company MAN Diesel. The ships will reportedly have an output of up to 400 MW, and they will be used to provide electricity to storage-stricken countries in Africa, the Middle East and around the Mediterranean. Courtesy: MAN Diesel

According to Turkish newspaper Zaman, the first of these so-called power ships is already in the works: A 125 MW ship ordered by Iraq's electricity ministry is in the final phase of construction and will soon be dispatched to the country. The 188-meter-long power ship will be docked in the Umm Qasr port in the Persian Gulf to mainly provide energy for the port. The remaining electricity will be diverted to residential areas in Basra, the newspaper reported in November.

By C. J. Schexnayder

A Houston company has completed construction of a pair of power-generation barges that, when installed later this year in Venezuela, will become the world's largest floating power-generation facility.

Houston Firm Floats Power to Venezuela

Image of Waller Marine power barges for Venezuela

Waller Marine, Inc. completed work on the two $125-million vessels, Margarita I and Josefa Rufina I, earlier this month at the Signal International Shipyard in Orange, Texas.

Each barge boasts a single GE 7FA turbine generator and is capable of producing 171 MW. When installed in a prepared basin at Tacoa, Venezuela, near the country's capital, the 342 MW combined generation capacity of the barges will outstrip a 220 MW floating unit the firm built in 2001 for India.

The GE turbines function on both natural gas and diesel. According to Venezuelan officials, for the first years of their expected 40-year lifespan, the units will run on diesel fuel and then switch to natural gas as connection facilities are completed, said Anthony Waller, the company's marketing director.

The facility includes a floating fuel-storage barge with a capacity of 360,000 barrels as well as an 800-gallon-per-minute reverse-osmosis plant, which will provide demineralized water for the powerplant. Waller officials say they have begun work on the project's second phase, which will include a steam-cycle generator capable of increasing the floating facility's output to 600 MW.

Waller Marine has been constructing the floating power facilities since the late 1980s. The company has built a total of eight of the vessels - including a 115 MW barge for Ecuador - and demand has increased noticeably in recent years, Waller said.

"We can control the cost and schedule to build the plants while avoiding many of the complications of on-site construction", he said.

Climate change has created a market in South America for the floating powerplants. A severe drought across the northern portion of the continent has led to plummeting reservoir levels, which has created severe problems for Venezuela and other countries that depend on hydropower to meet electricity demand. The country's 10,200 MW Guri Dam provides almost three-fourths of the country's power.

Floating powerplants have been gaining in popularity because of their portability and relatively low cost. The most ambitious effort has been by Russia's state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, which launched the first of a planned seven floating nuclear powerplants in July.

The Akademik Lomonosov, a $220 million vessel constructed over a two-year period at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, uses two modified KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors capable of producing 70 MW of power. The plants are planned for service along the Russian Arctic coast.

Image of Power Barge Model

Venezuela to Spread Strategy to cut Power Consumption

Caracas, Friday, May 6th, 2011
El Universal - Daily News

May 2 - Govenment's works to increase power generation in 2011 behind schedule
A year ago, the Guri Hydroelectric power station, which provides almost 70% of Venezuela's electricity, fell to critically low levels, due to a prolonged drought, excess demand on the dam in 2009 and the absence of thermal generation....

May 5 - Two Power Barges installed to increase generation capacity by 342 MW
Operations of power barges, Margarita and Rufina, are expected to begin in July. The two floating power plants will increase the generation capacity by 342 megawatts (MW). The plants located near Caracas are used to meet power demand in the Venezuelan capital.

The barges have already been installed near the Picure and Tacoa power plants. Each has a generating capacity of 171 MW, fo a total of 342 MW.

Minister of Electricity, Ali Rodriquez, visited the Picure power plant and opened Units 1 and 2 which have a generating capacity of 44 MW each. The other two units are expected to be installed in a month.

Image of Waller Marine's Venezuelan power barges installed near Caracas

May 6 - Venezuela to spread strategy to cut power consumption
The Ministry of Electric Energy is pondering several options to encourage electricity saving. Choices include extending to the rest of the country the Power Saving Program implemented in Greater Caracas since February 2010...

Read complete El Universal article

Margarita and Rufina, designed and installed by Waller Marine, Inc. Houston, Tx.

Waller Marine Inc. uses AVEVA PDMS
to Design Venezuelan Power Barges

Mark McKee, Marketing Specialist, AVEVA Americas
AVEVA World Magazine, 2011   Issue 2

Houston's Waller Marine, Inc. (WMI) faced a tough challenge:  Design, build and deliver two 171 MW floating power barges to a customer in Venezuela... in just 180 days.

Such a project required not only focus, speed and know-how, but a tool that would enable WMI to maximize its 36 years of naval architectural expertise on a very tight deadline with no margin for error. The firm turned to AVEVA in early 2010, purchased four PDMS licenses and rolled up its collective sleeves with little time to spare.

Image of Power Barge Model

From idea to reality
The result? The Margarita I and the Josefa Rufina I floating power plants set sail for Venezuela on schedule in August 2010 from Ingleside, TX. Only six short months earlier, both were mere ideas. How did WMI complete the fast-track project in such a tight window?

"The project schedule would have been impossible to achieve without tireless dedication and a shared vision of success by all involved." said Stephen J. McKillop, WMI's Vice President of Engineering.

"We chose to team our in-house engineering staff to work hand-in-hand with a highly motivated and talented shipyard whereby the barge hull, equipment foundations and piping systems were being engineered, constructed and installed almost simultaneously," McKillop explained, adding it was a strategy which could have been a recipe for mistakes, reworks and delays, were it not for the real time communication and strict scheduling of the various activities.

Image of Waller Marine's Venezuelan power barges installed near Caracas

McKillop said the final piece of the construction puzzle was to install the power plant and electrical switchyard. "(It) was completed by highly qualified turbine and electrical technicians specifically contracted by WMI for their dedication and 'can do' attitude," he said. "PDMS was a vital tool in allowing accurate installation and fit-up in our balance of plant-to-turbine piping interfaces."

Providing needed electricity
The Margarita I and Josefa Rufina I sport deck areas about the size of a football field and each weighs 6,700 short tons apiece. Their stack towers soar 100 feet above the decks. Boasting identical GE 7FA simple-cycle, dual-fuel turbine generators, the barges can each generate 171.4 MW of electricity for transfer to the Venezuelan grid. The turbines can run on natural gas or number 2 fuel oil.

The barges will be moored in a shallow, man-made basin protected from the Caribbean Sea, near the Planta Termoelectrica de Taco - an overtaxed 1940s-era power plant on the coast northwest of Caracas that cannot operate at anywhere near 100 percent capacity due to age.

Venezuela's nearby hydroelectric plants have been unable to take up the slack with additional power due to a shortage of rainfall in the region, which has led to lower than normal reservoir levels needed to power the hydro turbines. As a result, Caracas and the surrounding areas have been experiencing frequent power 'brownouts'.

Click here to read rest of article at AVEVA World Magazine...

October 9, 2012

Classification society ABS has granted an Approval In Principle (AIP) to a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) and regasification articulated tug barge concept introduced by Waller Marine Inc, Houston.

The vessel has the ability to load LNG from existing LNG terminals, liquefaction facilities or traditional LNG carriers and transport the LNG to existing tanks, traditional LNG carriers, trucks or marine vessels using LNG as a fuel. The barge also is equipped for regasification of LNG directly to a pipeline or to a power plant. An additional feature will be the use of natural gas as a fuel in the dual fuel engines of the tug to drive the tug-barge unit.

The benefit of the LNG Articulated Tug and Barge Regas Vessel (ATB RV) is that it allows LNG to be moved and delivered more efficiently on a small-scale basis in locations where large LNG infrastructure would be cumbersome, costly and time consuming.

The barge will be fitted with independent Type "C" LNG tanks. To make most efficient use of the hull volume and maximize the cargo-carrying capacity of the barge, bi-lobe tanks of maximum width are centered along the barge centerline. The cargo containment system is split into four longitudinally located independent tanks, with each tank supported by a simple structure that isolates the tanks from hull loads. According to Waller Marine, these tanks will be constructed of either 9 percent nickel steel or Stainless Steel AISI 304L to contain the cargo at a minimum temperature of -163 degrees C.

ABS worked with Waller from the inception of the project and has been the primary certification body in carrying out reviews, including conducting a program review.

"ABS has been a great resource in developing the LNG ATB RV product", says Vice President-Gas Solutions Bill Hutchins, Waller Marine. "By conducting multiple meetings, including a HAZID (hazard identification), ABS has helped us to ensure safety and regulatory aspects have been appropriately addressed."

"ABS has worked closely with Waller Marine through the development of the LNG ATB RV," says Roy Bleberg, Director-Engineering, ABS Americas. "We are pleased to be part of a project with the potential to improve the environmental impact of hydrocarbon emissions."

Since AIP was granted, Waller Marine has moved into the detail design phase with a goal of creating multiple variations for clients around the world.

Waller Marine Inc. LNG ATB gets ABS Approval in Principle

PDF of Waller Marine's brochure

Waller Point LNG Applies to Export LNG From U. S.

Published on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 07:52

October 16th, 2012 - On October 12th, Waller LNG Services, LLC dba Waller Point LNG submitted an application to the U. S. Department of Energy for long term authorization to export LNG to free trade countries. The application is for long term, multi-contract authorization to engage in exports of domestically produced LNG in amounts up to approximately 1.25 million metric tons per year. Equivalent to approximately 58.4 billion standard cubic feet per year or .16 Bcf per day

The LNG would be exported from it's proposed Waller Point LNG Terminal which is presently under development at the entrance point of the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish in Southwest Louisiana to any nation that currently has or develops the capacity to import LNG and with which the U. S. curently has or in the future enters into a Free Trade Agreement.