BROWSE BASIN, Australia—Trelleborg's engineered products operation has supplied bearing systems to Shell's Prelude FLNG—the world's first floating liquefied natural gas project.
The Swedish rubber group said that it had delivered 52 vertical elastomeric bearings and 156 horizontal bearings for use on the 13 modules onboard the facility, as well as 40 turret bogey bearings to enable natural movements of the turret.
“Many of Prelude's topside modules weigh as much as a single typical offshore platform. In fact, along with its contents, Prelude is expected to weigh a total of 600,000 (metric) tons,” said Byoung-Gark Park, topside structural engineer for Samsung Heavy Industries, who procured the bearings from Trelleborg.
The elastomeric bearings are steel plate laminated and installed between the hull of the facility and its modules. They accommodate axial, shear and rotational movement to keep the modules safe from impact, damage and deformation.
According to JP Chia, engineering manager for Trelleborg's engineered products operation, the bearings were designed and manufactured specifically for their application.
This approach, he noted, was especially important for the Prelude topside, as a “record-breaking weight” should be supported.