ABERDEEN, UK -- ACE Winches has established a new division in Dusavik, Norway — ACE Winches Norge — to serve Scandinavia.
The new operation will provide spooling, equipment rental, and vessel bollard pull testing, as well as showcase ACE's product range. The base will include a 500-sq m (5,382-sq ft) workshop and a 1,000-sq m (10,764-sq ft) yard.
Derek Penny, ACE Winches head of Group Sales and Business Development, added that his company could establish further bases in Houston, Dubai, Perth, and Singapore to expand activity in the Gulf of Mexico, South America, Middle East, Australia, and the Asia/Pacific region.
ACE Winches was formed in 1993, and currently supplies a range of winch and deck machinery for use on fixed and floating offshore installations and vessels.
The company’s manufacturing base at Turriff, Scotland, and nearby hire and test facility near Banff provide full-scale manufacturing, refurbishment, and testing of winches, simulating static or dynamic working arrangements. The Banff facility also has spooling capability and a test bed for proof load testing up to 750 metric tons (827 tons).
Clients include BP, Technip, Subsea 7, Acergy, Saipem, Dolphin Drilling, and Ferguson Modular. Often, their preference is to hire winches, A-frames or tensioners, rather than purchase this equipment outright.
“We are seeing the market in oil and gas move towards every increasing water depths of up to 4,000 m [13,123 ft],” Penny says. For those depths, winches must provide a very high level of reliability, he points out. “They must also be fast to deploy, because the time taken to descend to the sea floor and for retrieval to the surface can be substantial, with associated impact on vessel costs.”
“A great deal of technical effort is going into the winch control,” he adds, “in terms of active heave compensation. Other areas of development for ACE Winches are linear winches and tensioners.”
Among the company’s recent offshore projects, Heerema Marine Contractors is deploying a package on its deepwater construction vessel DCV Balder comprising three 30-mt (33-t) constant-tension winches powered by a 130 kW HPU. This combination serves to control loads of 150 mt-plus (165 t) suspended from the vessel’s cranes.
Nearer to Aberdeen, Ferguson Modular has contracted ACE Winches to design and manufacture four 100-mt (110-t) double-drum mooring winches and four 150 kW hydraulic power units for a new offshore accommodation vessel. Deliveries are due to be completed this month.