News | April 4, 2000

BG Armada Platform Accommodations Provided by Ferguson Seacabs

Leading manufacturer of modular solutions, Ferguson Seacabs, has successfully completed a contract to provide additional high-specification accommodation space to the BG International-operated Armada platform in the North Sea. The new H120 module increases Armada's capacity by 20% despite space restrictions posed by the smaller size of the installation.

The module, which has a fire resistance rating of H120, was designed and manufactured to meet client specifications with emphasis on health, safety, and environmental conditions. Ferguson Seacabs had to take into account the logistics associated with the installation and hook-up of the additional living quarters (ALQ) which were installed on top of the permanent living quarters (PLQ). Armada is similar to many platforms in that the helideck is positioned above the PLQ and the void between the two levels is limited, accommodating HVAC equipment and other services. This provided a very limited footprint for Ferguson Seacabs to install the ALQ. In addition the structure had to be capable of supporting the walkways and stairs establishing escape routes from the new accommodation.

Ferguson Seacabs worked alongside BG International's service contractors, Wood Group Engineering Limited, who are responsible for engineering design, management, and operations and project procurement on the Armada Field. Of key importance to both parties was the requirement to provide a maximum amount of liveable space within each of the four two-man cabins. Recent guidelines published by the HSE have focused on the elimination of overcrowding on offshore facilities. Despite the restrictions imposed, Ferguson Seacabs' design successfully met and, in many cases, exceeded the guidelines and regulations for accommodation.

On the completion of the project, Alex Dron, General Manager of Ferguson Seacabs commented, "Studies have shown that personnel effectiveness and safety are closely related to the quality of the living and working environment, and standards for offshore accommodation have risen dramatically over the last ten years. Our accommodation module designs have undergone significant improvement during that time to ensure that they meet the standards required by both our clients and the HSE. Working closely with Wood Group Engineering Ltd and BG International, we were able to supply a module to Armada that not only met with, but exceeded, the latest safety and comfort standards while fitting into the existing infrastructure of the platform."

John P Stewart, Project Manager at Wood Group Engineering added, "There were several logistical challenges presented by the addition of the new accommodation, namely the external space restrictions while ensuring that living conditions in the module provided maximum space and comfort." He continued, "Ferguson Seacabs and Wood Group Engineering Ltd worked together to deliver an effective solution to the original specifications, backed up by an efficient and knowledgeable project team who saw the module through to its successful installation."

Modules with H120 specification were specified in the Safety Case for Armada when the platform was originally built. Ferguson Seacabs met this specification by the use of a mild steel structural frame which was in-filled with a proprietary stainless steel cladding system to match the existing PLQ. The structure was designed in accordance with BS5950 while taking into account the additional requirements of the client specification relating to the transport, lift and in-place forces acting on the ALQ. Upon completion, the exposed areas of the primary structure were coated with a proprietary passive fire protection material to maintain the H120 envelope.