Shell Brazil recently signed a partnership agreement with the British company Innospection and SENAI CIMATEC for the development of a robot for the inspection of cargo tanks in service of ship-platform (FPSOs).
This robot called MCCR (MEC Combi Crawler Robot) will be launched from the main deck and will move on the outside of FPSO shells operated by Shell as well as other FPSOs operating in Brazil. The robot will be equipped with devices for cleaning the marine incrustations and for the detection of defects and anomalies in the structure of the hull. The development of this tool will allow greater efficiency in the inspection of oil storage tanks, improving the integrity and safety of the platform vessels. A cost reduction of 20% to 30% in tank inspection is estimated when the use of the robot is combined with other robotic inspection tools such as drones.
José Ferrari, Shell Brazil Technology Manager, said: "We are very excited about this promising partnership, which should result in the optimization of the FPSO inspection process, also contributing to the improvement of the structural integrity management of this type of asset. We are still looking forward to bringing together two important partners, such as Innospection and SENAI CIMATEC, who have already worked on relevant Shell projects in Brazil and abroad."
Innospection managing director Andreas Boenisch said: "In many ways this project has already begun with great achievements, ranging from R&D collaboration between an operating company, an institute and a commercial technology company, to the integration of various technologies inspection and surface cleaning in an underwater robotic system that is almost autonomous. We are excited to work with a large team, on another continent, in an excellent solution for the industry."
For Daniel Motta, Technology and Innovation Manager of SENAI CIMATEC, the project has fundamental importance in the international consolidation of Robotics competence, which has been developed since 2013 with the first projects with Shell, such as FlatFish.
Motta said: "We are developing yet another highly relevant project with Shell to raise oil and gas exploration to ever more advanced levels. It is a project that strengthens Brazil's technological development, made possible by a combination of resources from ANP and Embrapii, Innospection, a leading international partner."
The cost of the project is about US $9 million, of which US $4.5 million will be contributed by Shell Brazil through the Research & Development (R & D) clause of the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP).