New rig developed by Huisman can be powered by floating wind

Dutch company Huisman, a provider of design and manufacture of heavy construction equipment, has developed a harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig design, which can be powered with onshore-produced hydroelectricity but also with floating wind turbines.

Announcing the new design on Monday, Huisman explained that it was developed with an aim of making the extraction of fossil fuels as sustainable as possible while the world makes the transition to renewable energy.

The company says it is developing numerous solutions for the harvesting of renewable energy, including those for offshore and onshore wind as well as geothermal energy. However, to ensure energy security during the transition, the company continues to develop “increasingly sustainable solutions for conventional energy production.”

With a philosophy of holistic optimal efficiency behind it, the company claims that this semi-submersible rig will lower emissions significantly and reduce costs.

According to Huisman, examples of the rig’s efficiency include a low drag electrified robotic drilling system that offers consistent speed of operation, as well as a unique heave compensated drilling floor, able to operate in rough seas. This results in increased productivity and uptime of the rig. Together with the rig’s sustainability-focused hybrid power system, including energy storage systems storing regenerated energy, this ensures that emissions can be reduced by 30-40 per cent per well, Huisman explained.

Ideally, the rig is powered with onshore-produced hydroelectricity, via a power cable from a nearby platform. Alternatively, it can be powered by two floating wind turbines, moored next to the rig. Both of these solutions offer extremely low emissions per well. With the inclusion of wind turbines, the reduction in emissions can be increased to as much as 86 per cent, Huisman noted.

Dieter Wijning, Huisman Product Manager: “It’s clear that we need an intermediary solution while we make the transition to renewables. And that, if Europe is to have a reliable source of energy for the time being, this is going to involve consumption of oil and gas. We think it’s important that this exploitation of fossil fuel reserves is done as efficiently and cleanly as possible. It is our vision to drive the growth of renewable energy while making fossil fuel extraction more sustainable.”