Saipem, IHC complete trenching plough seatrials

Saipem and IHC Engineering Business (EB) have completed installation, commissioning, and sea trials for two new pipeline trenching ploughs aboard the CSV Far Samson.

Offshore staff

NORTHUMBERLAND, UK -- Saipem and IHC Engineering Business (EB) have completed installation, commissioning, and sea trials for two new pipeline trenching ploughs aboard the CSV Far Samson.

The main trenching plough is designed to bury pipelines of up to 1.6 m (5.2 ft) diameter in depths of up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) below the seabed. The plough can sustain a bollard pull of over 350 metric tons (386 tons), and maintain speeds of up to 3000 m/hr, where seabed conditions permit. All four of the main skids sit outside the trench of the backfill plough enabling it to run on undisturbed soil, increasing stability and reducing risk of damage to the laid pipe, the companies says.

The trails program was intended to test the ploughs' ability to transition in and out of work, demonstrate multi-pass capability, and allow operators to gain an understanding of the general performance of the ploughs in terms of speed, tow force, trench profiles, steering ability and overall control, the companies say.

The trenching plough was tested up to rated bollard pull, creating stable trenches up to 2.7 m (8.9 ft) deep. It achieved trenching speeds in excess of those expected or required, the companies report. The plough was stable at relatively high offset steering angles, and provided effective backfilling of the 2.7-m (8.9-ft) trench.

08/20/2009

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