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Focus Engineering took the weight off the project

Focus Engineering was responsible for the detail design of all the process modules to be installed on the FPSO platform Dana Western Isles. The mission was to develop a cost efficient and weight-saving design, both critical factors in these types of projects.

Dana Western Isles is a floating production, storage and offloading platform (FPSO), used in offshore industry to process and store petroleum. The unit, which was put into operation in the autumn of 2017, 160 kilometers east of Shetland, was built at COSCO Shipyard close to Shanghai.

“It was a comprehensive project,” says Alf Reidar Sandstad, who at that time had a role as Engineering Manager for the customer Dana Petroleum.

“In 2010 the project started. It is one of the biggest new developments on the UK sector in recent times, with a total budget in the range of 2 billion USD, whereas the FPSO represented 25% of the total cost. At the most, nearly 400 engineers were involved in the platform construction,” he continues.

Found a weight-saving solution

Since the process modules are located on top of the process deck, which is the top deck, the weight of these installations is of great importance as the weight affects the stability and the loading capacity.

“The weight is a critical factor in a project like this. And the design that Focus Engineering came up with meant that the weight of the top-side modules was significantly reduced. The yard was pleased with the job Focus Engineering performed and stated that Focus Engineering was one of the key players that made the project a success,” explains Sandstad.

Cutting-edge expertise in Norway

Focus Engineering participated in the project from 2012 to 2017 – involving both Norwegian and Chinese engineers – where the labor-intensive detail design work was undertaken by Focus Engineering’s office in Qingdao whilst design work was completed by the Tønsberg office.

Being able to work around the clock utilizing the time difference between Asia and Europe and the best from China and Norway in an efficient manner is probably Focus Engineering’s largest competitive advantage. In addition to deliver on short time and at a competitive cost, this way of organizing the company also ensures Focus to closely monitor and support yards in Asia and at the same time being close to our western clients.

“We have highly competent engineers who solve the most complex tasks in Norway. In addition, we also have a very competent team that runs bulk engineering and continue the projects at our office in China. It works well being organized like this, something our customers also appreciates. Focus Engineering has success with this working method, and it is one of the great strengths of the company. It is also one of the reasons why I work for Focus Engineering today,” Sandstad concludes.

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Mr. Alf Reidar Sandstad in front of the Dana Western Isles installation. Source: Namdalsavisa.

Mr. Alf Reidar Sandstad in front of the Dana Western Isles installation. Image source:


Principal Dimensions

  • Hull Diameter: 70m
  • Storage Capacity: 400,000 bbls
  • Oil Production: 44,000 bopd

Description: Western Isles FPSO
Scope: Owners Representative
(Piping Layout & Structural),
Detail Engineering
(P10, P20, P30, P40, U40, F10)
Owner: Dana Petroleum
Client: Sevan Marine
Our Project: P213
Year: 2013 – 2017
Class: DNV