Suriya and Troll

Suriya Phojit doesn't scare easily – not even by huge Norwegian trolls. This winter the construction manager and his team supplied a new compressor module to the cornerstone of Norwegian gas production.

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When Suriya’s not at work, spending time with his family is what he most prefers. He is married and has a daughter. All photos: James Adams/Aibel.

By mid-April everything was ready for the long journey from Thailand to Norway and Haugesund, a journey which went without any problems. According to schedule, M11 arrived at Haugesund on 17 May, where an additional crane has been installed. Today the 23 metre high Troll module is being shipped to Troll A, where it will be lifted on board the platform on 4 June.

This is the story about Suriya and how the giant module was built in Thailand.

At the yard in Laem Chabang a 30 metre tall and 62 metre long giant has risen. All of the sections have been built and hoisted into place. Now M11 is to be mechanically completed.

“Troll A is central to Norway's gas supply to Europe and is an extremely important operation within Statoil,” says Suriya Phojit.

Time is short, but the construction manager will deliver.

“Of course. M11 will be delivered on time and meet safety and quality expectations,” he says.

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Cooperation between Norway and Thailand on the Troll project works very well. “This is because everyone involved, regardless of country, are a part of a common Aibel culture,” in the opinion of the construction manager.

First big project

In the autumn of 2011 Aibel won the billion kroner contract to expand gas compression capacity on Troll A. One of the three modules is being built in Thailand.

“The pressure in the Troll reservoir drops as the gas is extracted. M11 is a compressor module. Here the gas will be given more compression before being piped to Kollsnes,” Suriya explains.

It is the first time the 40 year-old is construction manager on such a big project. The first steel was cut in January 2013. Slightly more than one year later, M11 is to be mechanically complete.

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Three new modules will extend the service life of the Troll field. The electrical module M12 has already been installed on the platform.


600 workers are doing their best to reach the goal. Suriya has eleven line managers in his group.

“I encourage them to share their opinions and ideas. The more we communicate, the better we understand each other. I try to get everyone working on the project to understand how important they are. We will never achieve the goal if we don't collaborate across disciplines,” says the construction manager.

Aibel is at the forefront when it comes to modules for FPSOs and platforms in Thailand, and is also the only company that supplies modules to the Norwegian continental shelf.

“The challenge is to deliver on time, comply with Statoil's quality requirements and to do so without injuries,” Suriya says.

The Troll platform has a high technical standard. So are the client's technical requirements. Only once previously, on the Gudrun project, has AibelThailand delivered according to such stringent quality requirements.

Different cultures

The working day starts at 08.00 am. It lasts until 07.00 pm. Suriya spends a lot of his time in meetings internally, with Statoil and subcontractors. He stays in touch with project management in Norway through video conferences.

“It's a challenge to manage a team of different cultures and backgrounds,” the construction manager says.

Specialists from Norway are integrated in Suriya's organisation to ensure compliance with the technical requirements. There are major differences in cultures, but the collaboration works.

“We understand that we are different. Not just in terms of language, culture and background, but also in terms of how we think. Yet we still manage to work together, because we share the same vision and goal.”

Likes problem solving

Troll started gas production in 1996. At around the same time Suriya completed his education. He has a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology Mechanics and a Master's degree in Welding Engineering.

Suriya has worked in the oil and gas industry for sixteen years. Eight of these have been with Aibel. His CV includes Gudrun and projects for MODEC and Maersk.

“Aibel gives its employees the opportunity to maximise their abilities and talent,” he says.

His favourite pastime is solving problems. And problems do arise on the Troll project.

“Yes, some days are spent solving urgent issues. Even though it is stressful, I enjoy it,” Suriya admits.

Promotes the company

Troll contains 40 per cent of the remaining gas reserves on the Norwegian continental shelf. Every year, the field supplies gas corresponding to consumption from ten million European households. The new compressors will enable gas production from Troll for another 50 years. However, the project is not only important to Statoil.

“The Troll project will allow us to market Aibel and secure work for the future,” Suriya says.