Matrix Composites & Engineering (MCE) has announced the delivery of “one of the largest installation buoyancy structures in the world” to Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC).
According to the company, the structure weighs 103MT in air and provides 150MT of uplift in seawater, the equivalent of eight large public buses. Made from a modular design, the buoyancy system (called ‘IsoBlox™’) can be assembled in an almost infinite number of 3D configurations to meet the most challenging requirements, the company further notes.
The structure forms part of a modular installation buoyancy package and will be used to deploy HMC’s subsea production equipment used on “a major LNG project” off the coast of Western Australia.
The modular installation buoyancy package will be used in conjunction with HMC’s installation vessel Aegir. Together, they will ensure the safe installation of the Flowline End Termination (FLET) and In Line Tee (ILT) structures onto the seabed, 250m below water. The largest buoy in the package will be used to install the 150MT, 18” ILT and associated pipework.
Matrix’s modular installation buoyancy structures (IsoBlox™) are assembled from a number of standard elements. The 150MT buoy is made up of 72 standard elements held in place with a through member. The structure is 12.3m high, 6.44m long and weighs 103MT in air.
Matrix says that a standard, modular design allows the structure to be reassembled into different configurations as client requirements change. Furthermore, Matrix said that manufacturing efficiency is maximised as customised configurations can easily be assembled from a single standard building block element. Standard, modular designs also allow for damaged elements to be removed rather than replacing the entire module. The company emphasises that together, these features make its installation buoyancy a more cost effective and flexible solution compared to customised buoyancy.
Matrix’s CEO Aaron Begley said: “There is nothing like our buoyancy in the market today. The standard element design means clients can take advantage of significant cost savings over customised designs. The modularity of the design means that in most cases, only one set of modules needs to be purchased in order to satisfy an entire set of requirements. This represents a significant cost savings for clients as well as eliminating the time factor involved with manufacturing new buoyancy as client requirements change.
“Using our advanced syntactic foam buoyancy system which has made Matrix a global technical leader in the manufacture of riser buoyancy, clients can be assured of a quality, reliable product.”