Oil and Gas is one of the most demanding industries including material handling requirements. Heavy duty platform carts used on offshore platforms in particularly severe environments require particular attention in terms of durability and technology. And ATEX carts make a part of Morello expertise.

Offshore platforms blend severe environment, aggressive weather and particular operation conditions: sea air and saline and volatile, hazardous environment create challenging conditions for any equipment including heavy duty industrial carts. This is the story of a demanding project on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Africa.

Client and Location:

Total Energies Egina oil field is located about 130 kilometers off the coast of Nigeria at water depths of more than 1,500 meters. It is an ultra-deep flagship offshore project.

Samsung Heavy Industries was Morello’s direct client. Morello heavy duty platform cart operated on an FPSO vessel for floating production, storage and offloading. This vessel extracts and stores millions of barrels of crude oil.

Job Challenge:

Object 28-ton rotor of a large generator requires regular extraction for maintenance operations on an FPSO vessel. The client called our ATEX cart “the rotor extractor”.
Object movement The rotor had to be extracted to a height of 4m, lowered to 3m to avoid contact with other equipment, and transferred to a different location on the FPSO vessel.

Working Environment:

Working Area Hazardous offshore area with explosion risk requiring carts with ATEX/IECEx certifications
Space On an FPSO, a floating vessel, in the middle of the ocean with limited space available and tight maneuvering angles
Weather Considerations Morello heavy duty industrial cart will spend its entire life outdoors in all seasons and salty weather conditions on the open sea and must be able to manage the roll and pitch of the vessel
Air Quality Sea air, saline environment with aggressive weather conditions
Flooring Conditions The surface of the FPSO vessel is not built to withstand extremely heavy loads and so the weight distribution, accounting for roll and pitch, must be stable and dynamically balanced. The flooring will often be wet and so the risk of slippage during roll and pitch movement had to be managed
Location & Service Being located in the middle of the ocean, Morello ATEX cart must be an exceptionally reliable machine, while breakdowns are not easily repaired.


Morello Solution:

Vehicle Battery-Powered OMNI heavy duty platform cart featuring electric motors. Only certified IP protected electrical components were used, with stainless steel materials preferred and a certified C5-M marine paint finish applied
Steering OMNI heavy duty industrial cart featured multi-directional steering able to navigate in tight spaces and drive with front and rear steering, at 90°, diagonally, rotate on its axis and more directions.
ATEX Certified All electrical and mechanical parts and the engineering design must ensure zero explosion risk and be certified to make ATEX cart of full value. This required a complete revision of the machine’s specifications and components. The battery charger must also be EX certified
Mobility To manage the ground pressure effect and avoid overloading at any single point, dynamic acceleration calculations were made to ensure an even load bearing in all sea conditions on a floating vessel. This Morello cart has 3 axis lines for a total of 12 individually motorized wheels! To ensure optimal grip and surface adherence all 12 wheels were individually motorized and the hydraulic suspension ensured that all 12 wheels were continuously grounded. Specific calculations were made to measure friction levels between the materials of the vessel floor and the cart’s wheels in wet and dry conditions
Load platform Equipped with a load platform combined with a scissor lift to bear a 28-ton load raised to a height of over 1 meter. The load platform also has rails on which the rotor is maneuvered into position using a winch. To ensure the platform remains stable during the loading procedure the cart is equipped with 4 hydraulic stabilizers at the 4 corners
Motors AC brushless electric motors, no maintenance, no pollution
Operating Control The vehicle is driven using a radio-controlled unit with potentiometer. The operating software is Morello proprietary software used globally, developed and fine-tuned over many years
Technical Support Zero maintenance components were used wherever possible
Potential failure risks were identified and minimized
Backup intervention procedures were outlined in case of need
Backup spare parts were provided to ensure 100% efficiency
Vehicle Diagnostics available on advanced HMI
Remote Assistance active with on-board monitoring software
Project Management Morello project teams have many years of experience supplying technical solutions to challenging industries such as oil and gas, the nuclear sector and chemicals, to name a few, which require a high level of technical project management, technical documentation and support

Contact Morello Expert Team to discuss your project:  Amedeo Morello, Luca Tibaldi, Stefano Rizzo.