Aquatic - Edda Freya integrated tracks (photo: DeepOcean)
Aquatic Engineering & Construction Ltd, an Acteon company, was challenged to devise an innovative way to make their customer’s project preparatory works more cost effective and time efficient.
In an effort to reduce mobilisation time and lifetime sea-fastening costs on the newly commissioned offshore installation and construction vessel, the Edda Freya, the DeepOcean project team had decided on the inventive solution of integrating a track system into the deck.
The DeepOcean project scope called for a rental company to design and fabricate a new skidding system to interface with the Edda Freya’s integrated track system. The Aquatic Engineering and Technology team responded to the ITT as presented, and proffered an alternative solution, to modify one of their existing track system sliders. This slider technology principles and knowledge was already in-house since Aquatic had successfully produced a number of track based solutions. The added benefit of modifying an existing slider system, compatible with Aquatic’s largest reel drive systems, realised substantial cost efficiencies for DeepOcean – negating the need to hire separately or purchase a comparable reel drive system. By making the bold decision upfront, to have a multi-reel solution erected (when required) in a fixed position on the vessel, DeepOcean has effectively saved hundreds of man-hours of draughting time in solution design and reworking back deck drawings, and many thousands of dollars in seafastening and mobilisation costs.
Following a period of research, development and collaboration with the project team, the Aquatic engineers and fabricators created an interface solution which allowed our existing slider system and the integrated track system to fit seamlessly together.
Aquatic design engineer, Andrew Hastings, was given unprecedented access to the 150-metre vessel and host project team both in the UK and Norway, and by creating and maintaining a single point of communication for this project, potential errors and unnecessary delays could be mitigated. Says Hastings: “Innovation isn’t just about technological advancement; it is also about breaking down communication barriers all along the supply chain to deliver mutual benefit.”
Engineering team leader, Chuks Wayemeru comments, “The challenge throughout the subsea industry right now is to introduce efficiency though innovation; our alliance with JFO is a real example of that. Our thought process when this opportunity presented itself was how can we help to reduce overall operating costs whilst still delivering to the tender? The answer was to produce what was asked for, and be bold with an original solution. We know that establishing relationships early in the life cycle of a ship build or installation operation is key and so, naturally, we are thrilled to have been a part of this forward-thinking DeepOcean project.”
The Edda Freya’s first operation mobilised in August 2016 from Kristiansund, Norway for Statoil’s Maria project. DeepOcean were awarded the SURF installation contact for the Kristin and Heidrun platforms by Statoil; the modification of the platforms was necessary for a tie-back from the Wintershall operated Maria-development. The offshore work included the installation of risers and dynamic umbilical and cable. Aquatic were successful in winning the contract to supply equipment, 500Te reel drive system, including skidding system, and operational personnel for a 50-day hire.
DeepOcean’s lead engineer on the project, Vigleik Ølfernes Heien says, “DeepOcean are very pleased with the Aquatic delivery on the Statoil Maria Marine Operations project. The Aquatic team, both onshore and offshore, has highly contributed to the success of the Edda Freya’s first ever SURF project.”
Martin Charles, managing director at Aquatic, states, “We were delighted to receive this award as we continue to build our solution based innovations for a key and long standing customer. This project highlights what can be achieved when the supply chain is welcomed early into the planning phase. This design project and the subsequent operational award delivered a cost-effective solution for our customer, in a challenging global market.”