The leading north east England-based engineering company IHC Engineering Business (IHC EB), part of IHC Merwede, has won the NOF Energy Innovation & Technology Award, for its
work on the 2,500t J-Lay tower -- one of the most versatile pipelay systems in the world, designed and built for Saipem for use on their new-build vessel Saipem FDS2. The presentation
of the award took place on 8 December with Neil Baxter, Managing Director, accepting the award on behalf of IHC EB.
"The design and build of the bespoke J-Lay tower has certainly pushed engineering boundaries and its performance on its first offshore project, has clearly demonstrated the technical and
competitive advantages of the system," says Neil Baxter, Managing Director.
"Following our earlier success in being named the 2011 Design Team of the Year, by the British
Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEA), it is tremendous that once again the innovation and hard work of the whole team has been recognised with a high profile award.
"Over the past two years, we have invested heavily in our pipelay technology, and this is now paying dividends. The successful performance of the J-Lay tower -- which enables the
installation of large diameter subsea pipelines in water depths of up to 3,000m -- has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology we developed; and the fact that the FDS2 is
booked for the foreseeable future, with over $1 billion of future contracts to complete, is an endorsement of IHC EB pipelay technology.
"Going forward, we will apply the expertise gained and technology developed, to similar projects for other customers, in order to generate a positive return on our investment in technology.
During 2012 we will be delivering pipelay systems to both Technip and McDermott International, and are on the verge of securing significant further orders in the very near future. With the
support of our parent company, IHC Merwede, and strong market demand, we will continue to grow our global business and cement our position as a market leader in the supply of large
scale turnkey pipelay systems."
IHC EB won the contract from Saipem in the third quarter of 2007 and worked closely with them throughout every stage of development, installation and commissioning. The J-Lay tower was
built on Teesside, taking full advantage of the region's supply chain. It left there in mid-May 2010 to be installed on the FDS2 in Samsung Heavy Industries' Geoje shipyard in South Korea.