May 21, 2022

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The energy crisis forced a new invention

The energy crisis forced a new invention

Problem: Seawater from the production ship is pumped back into the sea, without using energy. Photo: √ėyvind Hagen / Equinor

Every day, oil platforms and ships around the world use large amounts of seawater to cool their systems. After that, the water is pumped directly to the sea.

Now Norwegian Framo, a longtime supplier of ship pumps, presents a profitable invention.

By installing the turbines inside the drainpipes, the Framo enables electricity to be produced as wastewater flows into the sea.

Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

– It’s a bit like asking why there’s no solar panel on the roof, says Sigve Gjerstad. He is one of the directors of Framo.

Nobody cares when energy was cheap

His point was that energy was so cheap that no one was particularly keen on saving in this way. Now the green transition and rising energy prices have led to a new situation.

– That’s an idea we’ve had for a long time, but if it’s a good idea, there must be someone who wants to use it. There we see a very different situation from the companies operating now, Gerstad said when he visited TV 2 Nyhetskanalen on Wednesday.

And when customer interest suddenly surfaced, it didn’t take long for Framo to respond. Pumps and turbines are two sides of the same coin.

– We started last fall with a theoretical analysis and then took a test in February. It turns out to be working excellently, says Gerstad.

Expect great interest

The product will now be offered to major operating companies in the Norwegian sector.

Equinor has ambitions to reduce its emissions by 6.5 million tons per year by 2030, says Gerstad.

– By installing this technology, they can save 200 to 300,000 tons, or 2 to 3 percent of the total. That’s too much for a technology that already exists.

He says the benefit is great.

Yes, we rarely go from prototype testing in February to specific meetings with operators interested in buying (in April), says Gerstad.

New Products Ongoing

The entire Norwegian supplier industry, those who supply the oil industry with materials, are now working with new technology to counteract the green transition.

– We have a big idea going on right now. We will develop strategies for the next five years. Some ideas are “hanging fruits” like this turbine, others are more demanding and take longer to develop.

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