The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Sep/Oct 2015


MMT awarded the UXO contract for Race Bank

Sweden-based MMT has been awarded a contract from DONG Energy Wind Power, Denmark, for UXO inspections and excavations of various contacts with option on disposal and removal at Race Bank offshore wind farm, off the east coast of England.


The Race Bank project is planned with 91 wind turbine generators, two offshore substations and two export cables. Based on previous surveys, a number of ferromagnetic and acoustic contacts have been identified at discrete locations which may impede wind farm component installation and therefore need to be inspected visually to confirm their identity. Many of the ferromagnetic contacts are expected to be caused by objects buried by marine sediments.


MMT will perform the inspection of potential explosive ordnance and the explosive ordnance disposal at critical locations along the export cable routes and within the Race Bank offshore wind farm.


MMT’s chief commercial officer, Ellen Svestad, said: “As part of the risk assessment for submarine installations, MMT provides detection, verification, excavation and clearance services for UXOs as part of our core business, and we are very pleased to be the successful contractor to Dong Energy Wind Power for Race Bank OWF.”


MMT’s long-term chartered multipurpose vessel Stril Explorer will be used in this project

Venezuela picks Falcon for one of largest dams in the world
  • The Guri Dam, at over 4000 square kilometres, is one of the largest reservoirs in the world

The government of Venezuelan has chosen a Saab Seaeye, UK, Falcon ROV fitted with a special survey system for inspection of its vast Guri Dam and associated turbines.


Built in the 1960s and one of the largest reservoirs on Earth, work is underway to extend the life of the dam by 30 years.


For their vital inspection work, the Venezuelan government chose the Falcon after reading favourable reports of its technological capability and the range of work undertaken by the ROV for the hydro industry, according to Saab Seaeye.


Typically these reports included a Falcon modified to swim five kilometres through a tunnel in Canada; a Falcon fitted with a full sonar system on a retractable device to inspect inlets and outlets, grids and tunnels at a major Italian dam; a Falcon sent to inspect 96 kilometres of tunnels under the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires; and a Falcon employed to help position a 75-tonne inlet structure to millimetre accuracy at a lake in Nevada, USA.


For a detailed survey of their infrastructure at Guri Dam, the authorities have chosen to fit a sonar and navigation system on their Falcon formulated by California, USA-based underwater systems supplier Symphotic TII Corporation along with MB Services in Miami, USA, that incorporates an Imagenex, Canada, 881A-GS sonar with an Applied Acoustic’s, UK, Easytrak positional location system.


Explaining the concept, Jack Roberts at Symphotic described how, by combining both systems on board the Falcon, scanned images remain stable whilst the ROV swims around in any rotation.


“This particular set-up has never before been adopted for a Falcon and has the added advantage of being simple to integrate in the field at the kind of remote location found at a hydro installation,” he said.



He added that multi-frequency programmable sonar makes it easier for the operator by providing a more stable view of the environment, whilst the ultra-short baseline positioning system readily allows the vehicle to return to points of particular interest.


Also, by fitting the ROV with a Lyyn, Sweden, real-time video enhancement system that self-optimises the image at 25 times a second, clearer pictures can be captured than would otherwise be possible, said Roberts.


Saab Seaeye said: “It is the Falcon’s intelligent control architecture that makes it feasible to readily integrate a variety of complex systems onto the ROV. This, together with its five powerful thrusters for precise manoeuvrability and steadiness in moving water, has made the Falcon a worldwide success.”

ROS supplies LEDs to ROVOP for new work-class ROVs

Remote Ocean Systems (ROS) in Aberdeen, UK, reports the sale of a significant number of subsea LEDs to ROVOP, the UK-based provider of subsea ROV services.


ROS said it is providing 32 L300 LED floodlights and 24 MVLED-II spotlights for ROVOP’s newest FMC Technologies Schilling Robotics, USA, Ultra-Heavy Duty and Heavy Duty work-class ROVs.


The L300, ROS’s latest next generation subsea LED, was released in mid-2014 and replaced the company’s QLED range of subsea lights.


“The ROS QLED-II and III range of subsea lights have proven to be a mainstay of the subsea and oceanographic industries for more than ten years,” said ROS business development manager Callum Magee. “The more technically advanced L300 gives greater illumination coupled with lower power consumption. It’s completely flicker free across the dimming range even when powered by AC, while being the same price as the QLED-III it replaces.”

SMD delivers three Quantum work-class ROVs to COOEC

UK-based SMD reports the delivery of three Quantum work-class ROV (WROV) systems to China’s largest offshore engineering construction company, COOEC Subsea Technology Co Ltd.


SMD was awarded contracts to supply COOEC with three Quantum MkIII 3000-metre rated WROV systems in the first quarter of 2015.


The orders include one 12-tonne and two 15-tonne launch and recovery systems, SMD DVECS-S control systems for each vehicle and a comprehensive spares and support package.


In addition to supporting COOEC during system mobilisation, the contract includes a SMD customer training package for COOEC personnel.


John McCann, SMD regional manager Asia Pacific, said: “We are delighted that, following a competitive open market tender, COOEC have again selected SMD as their partner of choice going forward.”


SMD first supplied COOEC with WROVs more than ten years ago. COOEC now has a total of nine SMD WROVs in its fleet following delivery of the three new Quantum systems.

Continued success for LinkQuest modems

LinkQuest of the USA reports the continued success of its SoundLink underwater acoustic modems, having shipped close to 100 systems in recent months for worldwide offshore oilfield deployments.


A spokesman for the company said: “LinkQuest’s industry-leading underwater acoustic modems are based on proprietary broadband acoustic spread spectrum technology and have been extensively used in the offshore oil fields worldwide over the years. LinkQuest produces a large number of acoustic modem models, carefully designed for optimal performance under various application scenarios and environment conditions.


“Based on LinkQuest’s rich practical experience in offshore oilfield applications and competence in theoretical analysis, LinkQuest has closely worked with its customers to select specific acoustic modem models most suitable for the customers’ applications, aiming to optimise system performance, increase overall system reliability and enhance cost effectiveness.”


The spokesman said a large number of high-frequency UWM2000 and 2000H modems were recently shipped for downhole pressure testing and monitoring and FPSO mooring line monitoring in offshore oil field projects. Low-frequency UWM3000 modems and medium-frequency UWM4000 and UWM4010 modems were shipped for seabed seismic monitoring of offshore oil and gas field reservoirs in large-scale deployments, real-time deepwater multi-sensor data monitoring and deepwater real-time AUV data communication, he added.

Dive control contract

Briggs Marine Contractors, UK, reports that, due to an increase in demand for diving services, it identified a need to add to its current dive spread. The company awarded Dutch firm Pommec BV the build contract for an additional stand-alone dive control with attached air supply and compressor, “a safe, simple ‘plug and play’ system that can be used aboard a vessel or along the quayside”.


On the contract award, Rudi Pommé of Pommec BV said: “It has been a challenge to meet all the demands that Briggs Marine made in the design of the system as it is a complete and unique stand-alone dive control, fitted in just a 20-foot (six-metre) container. But I like challenges, and I am pleased and proud to see another innovative system leaving our workshop.”


Alistair Blue, dive superintendent at Briggs, said: “The company’s strengths are in delivering safe, efficient, high quality marine solutions in challenging environments. It has been great to work on this project with Pommec and see the new unit already being mobilised to support a major infrastructure installation.”

Kongsberg sonar systems chosen for Swedish patrol boats

Swedish shipbuilder Swede Ship Marine will install new Kongsberg Maritime, Norway, sonar systems as part of a major rebuild and lifetime extension of five patrol boats for the Swedish Navy. The new sonars will replace the previous model Simrad SS576 sonars first installed in 1996 on board the Tapper-class, with the purpose to protect and patrol Swedish coastal waters.


With a length of 22 metres and a displacement of 62 tonnes, the Tapper-class fast patrol boats operate in extremely shallow water and require sonars capable of high performance in such environments. The Kongsberg Maritime sonar selected for this upgrade will be used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), mine and obstacle detection and navigation, and is designed for use in shallow water.


“The Swedish Navy is one of the most experienced navies with regards to operation of sonars in shallow and challenging waters, so we are proud to have the preferred sonar solution for protection of the Swedish coastline,” said Thomas Hostvedt Dahle, naval sonar product sales manager, Kongsberg Maritime. “Our sonars have acoustic properties specially developed for shallow water and our design is compact in order to enable installation on very small ships.


“This supports the ASW tactics of fighting submarines in shallow water with the use of several smaller ships that are equipped with sonars. We look forward to the ship being delivered with upgraded sonars to the Swedish Navy, in less than a year.”

Sub-Atlantic to supply AALEA with second ROV

Sub-Atlantic, UK, reports it has won a second contract with Italian oil and gas subsea services provider AALEA. The contract will see Sub-Atlantic deliver one of its Tomahawk observation ROV systems.


The company said: “The Tomahawk has been optimised as a survey system. It is configured with intelligent interfaces, including an advanced subCAN control and diagnostics system, and is powered by Sub-Atlantic’s powerful DC propulsion system which incorporates Statorshield technology. This high-performance control, coupled with powerful propulsion, provides a stable platform which enhances its survey and data collecting capabilities.” 


It is the second system of its kind that Sub-Atlantic has provided for AALEA, with the first successfully completing a major 100-kilometre pipeline survey through the strong currents of the Strait of Messina, a narrow passage of water in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and the Italian mainland.





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