With more than 600 engines operating in over 30 countries, the Rolls-Royce industrial RB211 gas turbine provides outstanding reliability, simplicity and maintainability. Each of these attributes has now contributed to the fleet, surpassing 25m hours of worldwide operation.
Developed from the RB211 turbofan aero engine, the industrial version has a proven record in a wide range of industrial applications including electrical power generation, gas compression on major pipelines and various applications on offshore oil and gas platforms.
Since its introduction in 1974 driving a 20MW centrifugal gas compressor at the TransCanada Burstall pipeline compressor station, the engine has been progressively developed and improved for nearly 35 years. With continuous development derived from various aero engine technological advances, the industrial engine is currently rated at a base load output of 32MW.
Today’s fleet of RB211s, installed with over 100 customers, includes a number of units that have completed more than 100,000 hours of operation. The longest serving industrial RB211 is on a pipeline in North America with over 187,000 hours, while another unit providing electrical power in the North Sea on an oil platform holds the current record for offshore service at over 146,000 hours.
In gas transmission service on major pipelines, the engine currently operates in 19 countries, including the West-East pipeline in China, seven gas lines in Canada, the MAGHREB pipeline in Morocco, and soon, the MEDGAZ underwater line in Algeria bringing valuable gas to Southern Europe.
The RB211 engine has also achieved significant success operating on offshore oil and gas platforms and floating production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs) in locations such as offshore West Africa, Australia, Newfoundland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Brazil, the Caspian, Venezuela and the North Sea.
Nearly half of the engines sold have been to the offshore market, with the largest single concentration of RB211s on a BP platform in the Caspian where 10 engines provide electrical power in addition to driving gas compressors and water pumps.
In onshore power generation applications, the RB211 is ideal for both continuous base load and peaking service, with engines sold to operators in 18 countries. Producing over 30MW, the RB211 is available in a wide variety of configurations to meet individual project requirements, and has been sold to power companies for co-generation and combined cycle applications, where total power outputs increase to over 42.5MW.