The SURF (subsea umbilical riser and flowline) installation market is expanding and pushing into ever-deeper waters. At the same time IHC Engineering Business (IHC EB) has seen a dramatic expansion of its range of pipe and cable lay systems, with a number of large scale projects delivered, or ongoing. A 300-tonne system will shortly be delivered to McDermott International Inc.
"We are ambitious to expand our market share of turnkey pipelay systems, particularly flexible-product lay systems, and therefore we sought a partnership with an established provider of tensioner systems in order to deliver lay systems," explains IHC EB's Managing Director, Toby Bailey. "At the start of 2010 we came to an agreement with SAS to jointly pursue Flex-Lay system projects together, and now we have seen the fruits of our labour. The first project of this new partnership will be the delivery in early 2012 of a 300-tonne flexible-product lay system to McDermott, a leading engineering, procurement, construction and installation company focused on executing complex offshore oil and gas projects worldwide."
The new system is an upgrade to the existing horizontal lay system onboard McDermott's new vessel North Ocean 102. The vessel is a modern, high payload, dynamically positioned, fast transit, flexible-product, horizontal-reel (7,000 tonne-capacity carousel) cable and pipelay vessel for subsea construction and installation. North Ocean 102 also installs deepwater moorings for floating facilities. Upgrades planned for 2011 will increase its deepwater capabilities. The 102's high capacity carousel was previously provided by IHC EB and the horizontal tensioner system by SAS.
SAS and IHC EB will be working in close collaboration with McDermott to provide equipment for part of the planned upgrades including a tailored flexible product lay system that benefits from both companies' significant track records. This will see IHC EB providing overall integration and production of the lay system tower, and SAS providing proven tensioner systems.
"With one highly successful venture under our corporate belts, and with the SURF installation market continuing to push forward into deeper water, and project locations such as Brazil continuing to expand, we look forward to many future projects working with SAS as reliable and proven partners for Flex-Lay systems," says Toby Bailey.