Offshore modules have service lives that last decades, but they will all eventually show signs of wear and tear. Regularly scheduled maintenance for offshore modules can extend the service life, but there will come a time when a module has reached the point where regular maintenance will no longer cut it. There are also situations where the intended purpose of the module is no longer needed, and a different module type or layout is required. At this point, there is a decision to be made about the module: replace it with new offshore units or refurbish it to like-new condition or even better than the original.

While new modules would always be nice, they are not always financially or operationally viable. Armoda specializes in facilities management solutions that provide a cost-effective way to transform existing modules into like-new units ready to continue to support projects well into the future. This article will cover the different solutions available for refurbishing offshore modules.

Refurbishment Solutions for Offshore Modules?

When getting a module refurbished, it can generally be broken down into three distinct categories: cosmetic update, structural/utility update, or a redesign.

Cosmetic Refurb for Offshore Modules:

A cosmetic refurbishment of a module is the most common type of refurbishment. Cosmetic refurbishment entails going through the module and replacing and updating various parts of the module to restore it to a like-new condition. Although each refurbishment job is module specific, an accommodation module will have a different list of updates than a galley module or a workshop. In general, any broken or missing items will be replaced, and fresh coats of paint and new flooring will bring the module back to like-new condition.

Structural or Utility Refurb for Offshore Modules:

As mentioned above, the service life of offshore modules is long, and over that time, regulations on electrical and plumbing requirements change. In these instances, an electrical / plumbing refurb is performed. The module’s wiring and plumbing are either modified or replaced to meet the new requirements and ensure the module can continue to operate safely on the vessel or facility. If relocating a modular asset to a zone-rated or hazardous area, there may be requirements for upgrading electrical or fire and gas systems. Over time, modular equipment may be damaged while being operated, lifted, or mobilized in marine environments. Steel repairs and recertification for structural integrity can also be performed to extend the lifespan of a modular asset.

Redesigning Offshore Modules:

As the name suggests, a redesign takes the existing module and completely redesigns it for another purpose. This type of refurbishment allows the module to continue to evolve with the project it is supporting. For example, future projects may require the need for more (or less) accommodation modules or berthing space for personnel on board (POB). Refurbishment teams can take existing modules or facilities onboard and redesign the area to accommodate the exact bed count required, or reconfigure the facilities for offices, mess hall, galley, workshop, storage, etc.

Where does the work take place?

Once the type of refurbishment has been decided, the next task is determining where the refurbishment will take place. For this, there are two options, on location or at the refurbishing company’s facility, each with its own set of tradeoffs.

On Location:

By removing the costs and time associated with decommissioning the module and transporting it from and back to the location, performing the refurbishment on-site can be a cost-effective option. Project managers will survey the module or facilities on-site and develop a detailed scope of work. Material and consumables will be shipped to the project location, and technicians will perform the refurbishment services on-site.

At the Facility:

The limited space on offshore vessels and facilities can make performing some refurbishment tasks more complicated. There are challenges with coordinating project schedules with ongoing operations at the facility, as well as personnel requirements for accommodating additional POB. Refurbishment at a manufacturer’s facility allows the scope of work to be completed offsite and eliminates the need for work permits and coordinating schedules with ongoing operations, and reduces the cost of tools and material shipments.

Site Surveys for Offshore Modules

By far, the most cost-effective task that can be done when performing an offshore module refurbishment is completing a site survey before starting any work. During a site survey, a service technician will document and catalog all the necessary work that the refurbishment will require. As a result, a site survey reduces the chance of unexpected costs and change orders. It will also provide the information needed to decide the best place for the work, on location or at the manufacturer’s facility. A refurbishment site survey will include the following:

  • Review the buildings or modules that need refurbishment to develop a detailed scope of work
  • Identify what material, equipment, tools, and work permits would be required on-site to perform the work
  • Survey auxiliary or utility systems to determine compatibility and integration requirements
  • Develop floor plans and drawings for client review and approval
  • Identify all hazardous and safety requirements and develop a strategy accordingly
  • Look for any items the customer may have overlooked that can be repaired and included in the refurbishment scope.

Facilities management solutions provide a cost-effective option to extend the operational life of aging offshore modules through refurbishment. With the knowledge of the different types of refurbishments available and the cost-saving critical site survey, you should be ready when your offshore modules need to be refurbished.

Armoda specializes in facilities management solutions that provide a cost-effective way to transform existing modules into like-new units ready to continue to support projects well into the future. Contact us today with any questions you may have!