The first magnetic blanking set destined for the Brazilian offshore sector has left the Miko Marine fabrication plant in Haugesund, Norway. After six weeks of manufacture, the set is now en route to the DSIC yard in Dalian, China. It will then be installed aboard a new Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel being completed by Japanese platform builder MODEC. On leaving Dalian the new FPSO will be moved to the Bacalhau field offshore Brazil where it will be operated by Equinor.
The new blanking set consists of four cofferdams that can be used for covering sea chests and three inlet pipe covers. Featuring Miko’s distinctive yellow trade mark colour scheme, their unique magnetic attachment system enables them to be quickly fitted over a hull opening by divers or ROV. They create an immediate water-tight seal without the need for any welding or hull attachments and can be quickly removed for recovery and storage until needed again. The ability to enable repairs and maintenance to be conducted without dry docking is seen as a major cost benefit and necessity for rigs and platforms which can remain on-station throughout.
Cato Stoll, managing director of Miko Marine, believes the delivery operation marks the completion of an important contract for Miko. “This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and the application of detailed expertise by the Miko design team,” he said. “The team’s specialised knowledge and experience ensures that the magnetic blanking set will function safely and reliably for many years to come. When the new FPSO is on station offshore Brazil it will possess an operational cost benefit that is unique among FPSOs in the region. By designing and manufacturing the blanking set while the FPSO was under construction provided us with many benefits in terms of convenience and ease of work. Nevertheless, we frequently provide the same service as a retro-fit for ships and platforms whose operators want to avoid the cost and complications of ad hoc blanking contracts,” he said.
Miko has developed considerable experience in the design and manufacture of hull closures and cofferdams and has particular expertise in the use of magnetic technology. Each cofferdam or pipe blank is kept in place by a configuration of powerful Miko MAM permanent magnets. With each magnet being capable of holding up to 2000 kg it is possible to achieve an immediate watertight seal for the closures without the need for any other fastening devices being fitted to the hull. Flotation material is integrated within the blanking plates and this makes them neutrally buoyant and easily handled under water by ROV. Each magnet is attached to its closure by a flexible joint which enables the plate to be manoeuvred and positioned precisely against the hull before it is tightened into place. When the repair work is finished the magnets are simply freed by having their release lever rotated by a diver or ROV, enabling the blank to be quickly retrieved by crane and stored on board.