Holt Cat Provides Generators to West Africa Oil Platform

Sat March 08, 2003 - West Edition

The Power Systems Division of Holt Cat, the Caterpillar product dealer for north, central and south Texas, has successfully delivered the main power generation system to Marathon Oil Company for use on its Alba “B” platform destined for an area offshore from The Republic of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa.

Holt Power Systems completed three generator sets, each with a Cat G3516TA natural gas engine and a Cat SR4 generator, in its packaging facility in Irving, TX. At 1,080 hp, each unit generates 750 kW. The engines are fueled by the associated natural gas that come from the oil wells drilled from the platform.

Because the units are going offshore, they are installed in large acoustically-treated metal enclosures. Each unit measures approximately 20 by 10 ft. (6 by 3 m), is 12 ft. (3.6 m) high and weighs 66,000 lbs. (29,937 kg). The units also have paralleling switchgear that allows them to synchronize and provide power to neighboring platforms as needed.

The Cat G3516TA is a turbo-charged, aftercooled V-16 engine. Because of its low emission qualities and cost-effective fuel consumption, it is ideal in an offshore power generation application where it must be virtually self-sufficient. It also is in wide use in natural gas applications to drive reciprocating the rotary screw compressors in the over 1,000-hp (745 kW) class.

“As high-specification engineered packages, these units represent a significant focus for the Power Systems Division this year,” said Jim Hughes, petroleum/industrial engine business manager.

“The Holt Power Systems engineering team designed these units from the ground up according to customer specifications,” said Loyd Shoemaker, engineering/packaging manager. “The units have special protection from electrical hazards as well as CO2 fire suppression installed inside each container.”

The units shipped by truck to Houma, LA, where they were installed on the platform. When completed, the platform will be moved by barge to the West African location and mated with its base.

Holt Cat, based in San Antonio, is one of the largest Caterpillar dealers in the world. The company’s service area covers 118 Texas counties from the Red River to the Rio Grande. The Irving-based Power Systems Division provides sales, parts and service for the complete line of Caterpillar natural gas and diesel engines as well as sales, rental and service for emergency power-generation systems, portable air conditioning and chilling units. The division also offers factory-authorized Cat truck engine parts and service, as well as used equipment.