Work has begun in Peterhead on a pioneering underwater tool developed by Aberdeen-based Ecosse Subsea Systems.
Ecosse Subsea Systems was recently awarded a £30,000 Scottish Enterprise grant to assist in the research and development of SCAR, a specialist trenching plough, and fabrication is now underway at Marine Developments Ltd and Dales Engineering Services Ltd in Peterhead.
SCAR is designed to operate from vessels of opportunity, especially anchor handlers. With low mobilisation costs and no requirement for a crane or A-frame for launch, SCAR presents a reliable and cost-effective alternative to conventional towed ploughs and trenchers.
The equipment is ideally suited to a variety of tasks including pre-cutting pipeline and umbilical trenches to 2.0m, simultaneous cable lay and burial, landfall trenches and seabed feature levelling. It has an operational depth capability from dry land to 3000 metres and is specially built for rough and tough terrain. It also features a variable pre-set trench depth capability and can be used in “multi-pass” mode for cable trench depths of up to 3.4m. SCAR will be the only multi-pass cable plough in the world and Ecosse Subsea Systems have recently been awarded a patent for SCAR.
Ecosse Subsea Systems was established in 1996 to provide subsea technology, engineering consultancy and specialist expert personnel for the subsea oil and gas markets around the world. The company has a staff of 15 and is headed by Turriff-born engineering expert Mike Wilson who has 25 years of experience and has worked in countless countries around the globe on trenching and pipelay projects.
Mike Wilson (photo) said: ““Our engineering expertise lies in trenching and pipeline installation, however this new piece of equipment allows us to become even more operations-based and we are delighted that fabrication work is taking place here in the North east of Scotland.
“SCAR is one of many technologies we have waiting in the wings including a partnership with Ellon-based chemicals company Aubin on DeepBuoy deepwater lifting. In this, Ecosse Subsea Systems are the engineering and delivery partner for Aubin’s subsea gel technologies DeepBuoy and DeepGel.”
SCAR fabrication will be complete in early 2011 and offshore trials are planned in the first quarter of 2011, as soon as a support vessel can be located.
Dales Engineering Services Ltd operations director Kevin Thomson added: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to fabricate the plough, and to have the opportunity to assist in the research and development of what is a very innovative product. We wish Ecosse Subsea Systems every success in bringing SCAR to the marketplace.”
Source: EcosseSubsea, December 29, 2010;