UK: IHC Engineering Business Ltd.s J-Lay System En Route to South Korea


Next week (w/b 31 May) will see a major milestone reached by IHC Engineering Business (EB), when their largest project to date, a 2,000t capacity J-Lay system for the Saipem FDS2 (Field Development Ship), leaves its manufacturing location on Teesside.

The lay system will then be en route to the Samsung Heavy Industries’ (SHI) Geoje shipyard in South Korea where EB’s engineers will work closely with Saipem and SHI to install and commission the system on the new build vessel.

“As one of only a handful of companies in the world active in the design and build of large capacity, complex J-Lay systems, we are immensely proud of this innovative system.” says EB’s Managing Director, Toby Bailey.

“We won the contract in the third quarter of 2007, and have worked closely with Saipem throughout every stage of development over the past two and a half years. This contract has certainly strengthened our reputation as a leading supplier of Pipelay Systems. To deliver it, we have made maximum use of our expanded resources together with the talents of the North of England supply chain.

“Proof of our engineering and production skills is the fact that DNV has issued design approval for this innovative J-Lay tower, and we have successfully met the stringent weight targets set by the client.”

The new system, one of the worlds largest and most versatile, is able to accommodate pipes from 4’’ to 36’’ and is rated at 2,000t hang-off capacity. By adjusting the angle of the tower (from 45 to 96 degrees) the system is capable of laying pipe in deep or shallow water. Key design drivers have been optimisation of pipe handling operations to ensure low cycle time, highly constrained working envelopes, and ensuring safety in all aspects of operation.

“There are plenty of fascinating statistics surrounding the J-Lay system including the fact that at 65 metres tall and 14 metres wide it is taller than the nearby Tyne Bridge,” explains Toby Bailey. “The total weight of the tower including all pipe handling equipment is 2,500t and the maximum weight of pipe that can be hung off the tower is equivalent to suspending 266 double-decker buses; there are 25km of cable; 60,000 lines of software code; and over 5km of welding. Designing and building this first of a kind system has been a remarkable achievement that we are very proud of.”

As part of the IHC Merwede Group, EB designs, builds and supplies engineering solutions for the offshore oil and gas, submarine telecom, defence and renewables industries.

The company’s operations are conducted from three North East England sites with headquarters at Broomhaugh House, Riding Mill in rural Northumberland, additional office space at near by Stocksfield Hall, and construction and Support base facilities at the Port of Tyne. In addition EB recently opened a satellite office in Aberdeen to provide closer contact with key clients.

Profile IHC Merwede

IHC Merwede is focused on the continuous development of its design and construction activities for the specialised shipbuilding sector, in particular the dredging and offshore industries.

IHC Merwede is world market leader in the construction of specialist dredging equipment. IHC Merwede is also recognised as an outstanding builder of complex, custom-built vessels for offshore construction. The clients of IHC Merwede include major dredging companies, oil and gas exploration groups, offshore contractors and government authorities.

IHC Merwede has a staff of approximately 2,800 at its locations in the Netherlands. There are also branches in China, India, the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Source: engb, May 26, 2010;

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