The list of facilities with Rapp Bomek products – fire doors, fire-proof enclosures and hatches – reads like a veritable “who’s-who” of Norwegian Continental Shelf fields.
It’s no surprise, then, that Rapp Bomek doors would be part of the field development of the largest find on the NCS in decades – Johan Sverdrup. Discovered and assessed in 2010-2011, Equinor estimates this colossal field will yield between 2.1 and 3.1 billion barrels of oil equivalents over a period that will stretch beyond 2050.
In 2015, Rapp Bomek signed a frame agreement with Equinor to supply fire doors to the development of the North Sea giant. For phase 1 of the Johan Sverdrup field development, Rapp Bomek has supplied approximately 260 doors to four different platforms. Phase 2 work is now underway, with about 40 additional doors to be delivered.
But Johan Sverdrup isn’t all. This framework agreement with Equinor also includes doors for the Johan Castberg FPSO, now under construction.
Moreover, another NCS success – Equinor’s Aasta Hansteen platform, which began producing gas in December 2018 – also boasts about 50 doors manufactured by Rapp Bomek.
Opening the door
To find out more about Rapp Bomek’s Johan Sverdrup work with Equinor, Energy Northern Perspectivespoke with Sales & Marketing Director Per Arne Haug, who explains that Johan Sverdrup is only a part of the company’s recent developments.
“This is pretty straight-forward technology,” he says, “and what’s become our niche is not only being supplier of external doors world-wide, but especially here in the Norwegian sector.”
“Here in the Norwegian sector, many years ago, our products were used as the basis for creating the NORSOK specifications for fire doors,” Haug continues, explaining how the meeting Equinor’s requirements is in the company’s DNA. “They are one of the more demanding customers with respect to specifications – they set their HSE standards very high. The safety of the installation is a top priority with Equinor – and we work hard to fill their specifications.”
To ensure this happens, Rapp Bomek’s in-house testing covers the early phases of product development. Full product testing is performed at third-party fire labs such as SINTEF in Trondheim, Norway, and RISE in Sweden, with classification societies such as DNV GL and ABS certifying compliance to industry standards.
On North Sea platforms, Haug explains, the demand is high for sliding doors, “because of the environmental conditions. In Arctic conditions, with very heavy wind, it is really easier to open a sliding door.”
“But it really is a mix – we also deliver hinged doors and hatches, as well as fire enclosures – all types of systems,” Haug emphasises. “And we have windows – our own technology – as well as windows from subcontractors. So today, Rapp Bomek can offer a complete package to support an oil company’s field development.”
Expertise to survive the slump
The framework agreement has helped Rapp Bomek survive the extended downturn that’s plagued the oil and gas industry. Haug says, “I think it’s been a very tough time for the whole industry. Johan Sverdrup has been a very important project for Rapp Bomek – to maintain our expertise – because it’s been a huge project in a time where the downturn has been tremendous.”
“We have two production plants in Norway – one in Bodø and one outside of Gjørvik, about 150 kilometres north of Oslo,” Haug continues. “At Gjørvik, most of the products are in what we call our ‘Civil area’ – the construction industry – supplying doors for public buildings, hospitals, and so on. But we also manufacture products there that we have qualified for the oil and gas area.”
“We have now established ourselves in the Civil area – and we have delivered to big projects in Oslo such as the new National Museum and the Munch Museum. And these have really contributed in putting Rapp Bomek into a big-time growth mode again,” he says. “And that’s what we’ve discovered – that we can use a lot of the know-how from the products in the oil and gas area and bring that into the civil projects and offshore wind.”
Soon, Rapp Bomek doors will help protect some of Norway’s national treasures, Haug explains: “For example, we’re delivering all the doors for the new National Museum in Oslo, so that’s two big contracts – all in all, it is almost NOK 150 million – including five big 7-by-8-metre fire doors for the new Alabaster Hall that is going on the top of the museum. For the Munch Museum we are delivering all the safety doors. So, it really has given us security and made the company significantly grow again.”
Looking back over the recent contract awards, Haug’s optimism about further possibilities for working with operators on the NCS and continued development for the company’s Civil activities is well founded.
When asked about how the future looks for Rapp Bomek in the renewables sector, Haug replies, “We have been participating with the Danish company Semco Maritime, which has been working with substations in offshore wind developments, so we are also delivering to that market, although it’s not so much at the moment. But in years to come, we expect quite a lot of growth from that area as well.”