Innovative Mass Flow Excavation (MFE) specialists Rotech Subsea has launched its smallest tool yet – the Twin 2000.
Like its predecessor the R2000, the Twin 2000 unit was designed for shallow water projects. But it has now been redeveloped by engineers at the company’s Aberdeen headquarters with gyro stabilisation, and made suitable for burial of larger diameter pipelines.
President of the company, Kenneth R Mackie, said in-house developments like this maintain the company’s status as world leaders in its field.
He said: “The R2000 was one of our most successful tools and was great at shallow water work.
“But with such a close working relationship between our design engineers in Aberdeen and our men operating the tools offshore enabled us to identify a potential gap in its skills. Through rigorous research and development the engineers devised the Twin 2000 which is doing a fantastic job.
“We pride ourselves on never standing still and it is developments such as these that keep Rotech Subsea at the top of its game.”
The Twin 2000’s maiden outing was a project, contracted by Acergy, in the southern North Sea.
It was called in to work from the vessel Polarbjorn to debury a 36” pipeline in one of the area’s oilfields – with the project being declared a complete success.
Craig Douglas, Project Manager at Acergy, said: “We were really impressed by Rotech’s ability to come in and deliver the job at very short notice.”
“They responded rapidly and had the tools and crew on hand to get the job done. The company’s flexibility, commercial terms, attitude and competency fulfilled our expectations and we know we can rely on them in the future.”
The tool has been working in the United Arab Emirates and its successes to date are set to continue with enquiries and orders flooding in. So much so a further two units are being constructed.
Continuous development, like this, ensures the company, which was founded in 2001, is constantly meeting market needs.
Rotech Group Directors Ken Stewart and Dr Hector Susman designed and patented the company’s unique “T” excavation system, which are now recognised as the world’s leading Mass Flow subsea excavation tools.
The tools work by using two counter-rotating propellers to channel a powerful flow of water downwards to clear subsea material, rocks and mud in a process called ‘mass flow excavation’. Technicians use live sonar feedback to adjust power levels and as there’s no physical contact with the sea floor or structures, there’s little risk of damage.
Previously, the alternative was to use cumbersome dredging equipment and costly support vessels which meant some jobs took up to five times longer with the added risk of damaging seabed installations or pipelines.
The “T” system range of tools offers businesses, particularly those in the oil and gas sector, a faster, cost-effective option to tackle a range excavation applications such as pipeline/cable burial, pipeline de-burial for maintenance, wellhead clearance, rock dump removal, decommissioning work, sand wave levelling, hurricane repair work, harbour deepening and mud removal.
From humble beginnings in a very specialist sector, Rotech Subsea has grown to be a multi-million pound operation with bases worldwide. Turnover in the first year was £125,000 and there were three employees. Turnover in the last financial year exceeded £10million with the workforce in excess of 70 and still growing to meet demand. Around 28 major projects were completed in 2007.
In 2008 it is opening two further bases to add to its Aberdeen and Houston operations, in Mexico and Singapore. It expects to take on upwards of 30 staff in the coming year from these new bases.