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Contract Awards: AXTech awarded contract for Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) for seafloor prod

Posted on 14.06.2011 - 13:00 EDT in CONTRACT AWARDS by Rons_ROV_Links

AXTech awarded contract for Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) for seafloor production toolsAXTech awarded contract for Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) for seafloor production tools

AXTech are pleased to announce the award of a contract by SMD (Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd) in Newcastle, UK for the supply of three Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS) for handling of Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs). The contract is by far AXTech's largest, and will run until end of 2012. Final value of this contract is pending on several options which are not clarified. However, base scope is € 15-20mill.

The scope of supply is for three LARS systems comprising A-Frames, Winches, Sheave units and Hydraulic Power Units (HPUs). The systems shall handle loads of 250 Metric Tons (+ wire weight) between vessel and seabed. Max operating depth is 2500m. Each of the Hydraulic Power Units for operation of the winches and A-Frames has a total installed power of approx. 2200-2400 kW.

Artist impression of the Solwara 1 Project.

All three systems shall be installed on the Production Support Vessel. Designing equipment capable of handling such large loads at great water depths will be an exciting challenge for AXTech. AXTech have, however, successfully designed similar sized equipment before in other applications.

SMD is one of the world's leading companies for the supply of ROVs, trenching systems, components and special projects. They have a worldwide customer base operating in markets in oil and gas, telecoms, mining, salvage, military and scientific research.

SMD is responsible for provision of all (3) production machines, including the LARS systems, to final Client which is Nautilus Minerals Inc ('Nautilus'), a seafloor production company with their head office in Canada.

A cheerful group after signing of contract. From left: Richard Myhre - AXTech, Paul Arthur - Project Manager SMD, Kjell Ødegård - AXTech, Sean Harrion - Contracts SMD, Stef Kapusniak - Project Director SMD.
Nautilus is developing a production system using existing technologies adapted from the offshore oil and gas industry to enable the extraction of these high grade Seafloor Massive Sulphide ("SMS") systems on a commercial scale. This in co-operation with suppliers of specialized heavy duty equipment like SMD and AXTech.
It is the first company to commercially explore the seafloor for massive sulphide systems, a potential source of high grade copper, gold, zinc and silver. 
The world's first seafloor copper-gold project, Solwara 1, is under development in Papua New Guinea.

AXTech SPT LARS (Launch And Recovery Systems) will be utilized initially at the Solwara 1 site in water depths of up to 1700m.

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