Solving a sub-zero challenge

Permafrost temperatures and constant vibrations in a rugged marine environment. In other words, optimal conditions for the rugged Beijer Electronics operator panel iX T15BR, as it visualizes critical operation in the Yamal LNG project – one of the world’s largest industrial undertakings in the Arctic, pushing humans and technology to the limits. 

The Yamal LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) project is based in western Siberia in the estuary of the Ob River, ice-bound nine months of the year. The ground-breaking development project calls on industrial expertise to manage the critical LNG production in extremely cold conditions with the help of high-performance technologies.

No place for compromise

French company Total, the world’s fourth-largest oil and gas corporation, is leading the project as part of a strategic alliance with Novatek, Russia’s second-largest independent natural gas producer and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
The purpose of the project is to ensure production and marketing of the Russian Arctic’s vast natural gas reserves. Russia aims to exploit 1.250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and establish a major new maritime route for transporting gas to Europe and Asia. The Yamal LNG project will eventually involve the drilling of more than 200 wells, the construction of 3 LNG trains, a vast gas terminal, and the commissioning of 16 gigantic icebreaker tankers.

Breaking the ice with rugged hardware

The world’s second largest shipbuilder, Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, won the prestigious order to build the icebreakers. Focusing on “green technology”, Daewoo turned to the Nordics to explore new solutions combining energy savings and rugged hardware proven to the extremes.
Consulting the Danish company DESMI Pumping Technology A/S was a step in the right direction. By installing their DESMI OptiSaveTM energy saving system for the sea water cooling pumps and diesel driven fire pumps in all icebreaker tankers, energy consumption adjusted according to actual cooling demand, saving lots of fuel. In optimal conditions as much as 80% of the pumps’ energy consumption could be saved.

HMI designed for extreme conditions

Due to the technical requirements and the extreme operating environment on the icebreakers, Automation Manager Palle Grankvist at DESMI had to think outside the box to upgrade and expand the solution. To provide the the OptiSaveTM system with reliable control and visualization he chose Beijer Electronics Rugged operator panel iX T15BR.  

Palle Grankvist says that the selection of the extremely rugged HMI solution to strengthen the application was obvious:

“The Beijer Electronics iX T15BR is designed for extreme conditions like this. The panel has an extended temperature range, all the relevant marine and hazardous location certifications and is shock tested up to 4G. Icebreakers like these are under constant vibration and shock, demanding extremely high quality of the electrical components.”


The value of solid support

Not only the product, but also the technical support from Beijer Electronics has been important during this project, concludes Palle Grankvist.
“The streamlined cooperation between the technical staff of Beijer Electronics and DESMI has proved to be extremely valuable to us”.



Challenge: Due to extreme operating environments on board icebreakers in the Arctic, Danish company DESMI had to upgrade critical hardware included in the OptiSaveTM energy saving system for the sea water cooling pumps and diesel driven fire pumps.

Solution: DESMI chose Beijer Electronics rugged operator panel iX T15BR to strengthen the application. Extended temperature range and marine/hazardous location certifications made this extended HMI an obvious choice.

Result: The rugged marine environments and constant vibrations are no longer a barrier to provide reliable control and visualization on board the icebreakers, resulting in as much as 80% of the pumps’ energy consumption can be saved.