Onsite experience, breaking records in deep water cargo recovery and close collaboration with Lankhorst Ropes and DSM Dyneema, has led the Norwegian technology and services provider, Deep Tek AS, to be awarded Offshore Support Journal's 2016 prize for Subsea Innovation for its 110t in air/110t @ 3000m drum winch cassette system.  This Soft Rope System effectively doubles the crane capacity, enabling a vessel smaller than 90 metres to be competitive against much larger ships with 200t steel wire rope cranes.

“It's all about the integrated system approach!” says Managing Director, Håvard Haanes.  This technology is significantly lower cost and less complex than current technologies that use synthetic rope for lowering and lifting objects subsea and comes with DNVGL certification to its ground-breaking standard, DNV-OS-E407.  “Particularly, in this market, with the emphasis on cutting the cost of both vessel and subsea operation, we see the upgrade of existing crane capacity from steel wire rope to soft rope as being a cost attractive proposition for vessel owners, as they can simply change out one drum winch system for another, keeping weights and footprint much the same.

“But, these winches and cranes are only part of a highly-skilled technical development that enables us to predict the remaining life of the rope in real time, giving all parties confidence, from oil and gas companies to crane operators, in the reliability and safety of our fully integrated, soft rope solution.”

The new Soft Rope System is an outstanding example of the integration of world-leading technologies from along the supply chain, and could only be achieved by strong partnership, says Jorn Boesten, Segment Manager Offshore at DSM Dyneema. “Dyneema® fibers have outstanding potential in deepsea environments, and we are very happy to work together with Lankhorst Ropes and Deep Tek to maximize this potential.”

Rui Faria, Senior Vice President Global Oil & Gas-Synthetics for Wireco, owner of Lankhorst Ropes, adds “All three partners believe the prospects for the new deep water lowering system are excellent, and we will all be putting our weight behind the technology to make sure it succeeds in what are very competitive markets around the world.”

Deep Tek's Chairman and Director of Technology Implementation, Moya Crawford, adds, “Working with synthetic filament rope in 3000 metres water depth, accessing the Bullion Room of the ss Persia, gave us unparalleled experience of watching braided soft rope work on a drum winch. This hands-on experience, coupled with the technical and financial discipline of ‘No Cure/No Pay', led us to thoroughly understand what was needed to transfer soft rope technology into the oil and gas sector.

“Yes, it drove us to develop our patented drum profile and spooling pattern, but this is only part of the story.  We could not have fulfilled DNVGL's certification requirements for the first two soft rope cranes to be built anywhere in the world, had it not been for the knowledge, expertise and support of Lankhorst Ropes and DSM Dyneema.  Also, crane manufacturers, Jebsen and Jessen of Singapore have been crucial in making the breakthrough. They had the courage to be the first crane manufacturer to incorporate our technology”, Crawford says,   “and they deserve full acknowledgement for this pioneering spirit.”