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Project Overview

The scope of the project on the export gas cooler was to remove pipe spools, install positive isolations, change out tube bundle, rebuild the exchanger and test all broken flanges. The works were to be completed on the Shell Curlew FPSO platform during a limited time shutdown window.


Shell UK


Heat Exchanger Bundle Replacement


Offshore, North Sea, United Kingdom



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The challenge

This exchanger was critical to the platform process and therefore the bundle replacement was viewed as a priority scope. Altrad Motherwell Bridge had tacit knowledge of this asset as it had previously worked on this heat exchanger.

Shell were concerned with the potential for damage to the new bundle whilst lifting it in the offshore environment, particularly so, given the exchangers weight size.

The solution

In order to create confidence in the lifting operations, Altrad elected to accept the new bundle into their onshore workshop, where trial lifts were carried out. As a result of these trials Altrad were able to design and manufacture the securing blocks to place along the length of the bundle, allowing it to be securely strapped together.

Altrad technicians, experienced in diamond wire saw cutting, were able to change out the bundle and cut the compression flanges from the old bundle successfully, thereafter rebuilding the exchanger.

Altrad were praised by the client for our onshore support teams professionalism and attention to detail all through the life of the project.

The benefits

  • Designed and manufactured securing blocks specifically for the project
  • Long period of unplanned downtime avoided
  • Successful lifting operation
  • Completed under budget
  • Executed safely with no lost time accidents

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Quite simply, a journey at Altrad begins with a desire to create a better tomorrow.

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