Industrial RB211-GT30 ready for

offshore oil and gas market

Siemens has developed the Industrial RB211-GT30, a new turbine based on

a reliable and proven base, aimed at the offshore oil and gas industry. The

Industrial RB211-GT30 is the first new product to emerge since the union of

Rolls-Royce Energy with Siemens.

The Industrial RB211-GT30 gas turbine employs exactly the same gas turbine and combustor as the current Industrial RB211-GT62 gas turbine. With its new lightweight construction the turbine is optimized for the needs of the oil and gas industry.

As gas exploration goes further offshore there has been an increase in the number of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. This has led to the need for industrial gas turbines with a smaller footprint, reduced weight and higher power density.


In response to the power production needs of these vessels, Siemens has introduced its new Industrial RB211-GT30 – the latest evolution of the Industrial RB211 gas turbine portfolio.


Key features are:

  • Lightweight construction that is 30% smaller than its predecessor
  • Power output 32.5 MW (60 Hz, ISO conditions)
  • Footprint baseplate 16.0 m x 3.3.m.

Rendering of the Industrial RB211-GT30 turbine package for FPSO application. The complete gas turbine can be removed from either side of the package and exchanged in less than 24 hours.

The main power loads on offshore installations are driven by electric motors rather than directly by gas turbines. This reduces capital costs by allowing power

production to be centralised in a smaller number of larger gas turbines driving

power generators. Reliable provision of power to FPSO vessels is crucial. Disruption

to power not only puts a crew’s safety at risk, but it also has detrimental

effects on production levels, reducing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.


As a result, there is a big demand for reliable gas turbines in the 20-40 MW

range. Nearly 500 units have been sold worldwide since 2000. Rolls-Royce Energy

and Dresser-Rand offshore power generation packages account for approximately

60 per cent of all the units sold into the 20-40 MW offshore power generation

market over the last 15 years.


It has been estimated that Brazilian offshore platforms alone will require in the region of 200 turbines over the next ten years, as Petrobras and other

oil producers tap deep-water reserves. Petrobras is planning major investments

to develop the pre-salt deposits off the shore of Brazil.


Over the last decade, Rolls-Royce Energy and Dresser-Rand have supplied a

significant share of offshore power generation on FPSOs worldwide, with the

Industrial RB211 gas turbines accounting for about 34 per cent of the total.


Challenging conditions

Operating conditions on FPSOs are far from ideal. Storms, sea spray, fog, and salt ingress, combined with limited operating space and restricted access to supporting

maintenance and repair facilities make this a challenging set of conditions for a gas turbine.


If a gas turbine suffers a failure on an FPSO far out at sea, the operators have a

big problem, because a gas turbine failure would result in no production, and

no production means no revenue. As a result, the first priorities placed on a gas

turbine operating in these conditions are that it is reliable and easy to maintain.


Turbines in the offshore environment need to be “marinised” in order to withstand the offshore conditions of extreme temperature, high humidity, and salt water.

This is a very corrosive mixture, and corrosion resistance is critical. Reliability

and availability are two of the most important requirements for the FPSO

market, given the environments in which the turbines operate.


Light weight, high power density and short delivery cycles are also essential

in making the project economics work. And OEM service capability is critical

in maintaining the necessary high levels of availability. Availability is of key importance for equipment in an offshore environment.


Elton Hooper, Product Launch Manager at Siemens Business Unit Distributed

Generation, said that this is why Siemens developed the Industrial

RB211-GT30. With its new lightweight construction the turbine is optimized for

the needs of the oil and gas industry. The machine is based on the proven Industrial

RB211 gas turbine from the former Rolls-Royce Energy portfolio, which has

seen a lot of service in this market.



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