Cygnus Gas Field

Southern Gas Basin Discovery – Cygnus Project
GDF Suez E&P UK
Project Value £2,800,000

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The Cygnus project was sanctioned in August 2012 and represents an investment of £1.4 billion by the operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK, Centrica Energy and Bayerngas. This gas field is the largest southern gas basin discovery in the North Sea for 25 years and at peak will produce enough gas to meet the needs of 1.5 million UK homes. The Cygnus field has gross 2P reserves of approximately 18 billion cubic metres. First gas was achieved in 2016 and it is now the second largest individual gas producer in the UK contributing 5% to UK gas production. GDF SUEZ E&P UK is the operator of Cygnus, responsible for ensuring that this valuable hydrocarbon resource is extracted and supplied safely and efficiently.

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Blackburn Starling & Company Limited were awarded the contract to supply 6 No. low voltage switchboards, associated control gear and systems integration services (programming in excess of 400 intelligent electronic devices e.g. Simocode devices and 3 No. Simatic S7-400H Hot Standby PLCs) in May 2013 for the 3 gas platforms (Bravo Wellhead Platform NUI, Accommodation Platform QU and PU Platform).

The switchboards supplied were industrial withdrawable pattern (from our Starline 439 range), ASTA Certified type tested assemblies to BS EN 61439-1 & BS EN 61439-2 incorporating the maximum density of 12 functional units per tier.

The low voltage switchboards were manufactured to comply with a Form 4, Type 7 construction, with ratings ranging from 800A to 3200A, short circuit fault rating of 65kA for 1 second (176kA peak) with fully insulated busbar systems.

The switchboards included Siemens Siprotec and Reyrolle protection relays. The overall system was designed to meet IEC 61850 protocol to the Electronic Control System (ECS) and Integrated Control & Safety System (ICSS).

The low voltage switchboards included the installation of temperature monitoring devices across the copper bus bar system which communicated via Profibus DP to the PLC Systems for status and alarm monitoring to the ECS. System availability and proven design were important features for selection of Siemens as the preferred equipment supplier.

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The project scope incorporated the design, manufacture (including metal fabrication) and testing of the low voltage switchboards and system integration services. The first phase of equipment was shipped in December 2013, some 7 months after contract award. The scope of supply was extended to include installation and commissioning services.

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