IHC Handling Systems introduces new pipe cutter for decommissioning market
IHC Handling Systems, a global supplier of offshore installation and removal equipment, has introduced a new pipe cutter for use in the decommissioning market. Unlike other equipment developed to date, the unique tool is able to be repositioned underwater. This new and advanced piece of equipment has been developed in response to the increasing demand for the decommissioning of offshore structures.
The pipe cutter is able to create smaller pieces of pipe for transportation in the process of decommissioning jackets. This new feature increases the efficiency of the tool significantly. It can be used on a pipe range of 10-36", a maximum wall thickness of 1.125" (28mm) and has a cutting capacity of 1,000 tonnes.
The rapidly growing demand for the decommissioning of offshore structures is being driven by governments and authorities forcing oil companies to remove production facilities once resources have been depleted. IHC Handling Systems has an impressive track record in this relatively young market in recent years. This began in 2005 with the removal of the flare tower at Shell's world-famous Brent Spar - since then, more specialised equipment has been designed.
Initially, offshore contractors used standard IHC equipment, such as internal lifting tools with small modifications. However, as the market continues to develop, the demand for dedicated and even custom-made tools is increasing. During offshore dismantling, for example, custom designed internal and external lifting tools, with capacities up to 2,000 tonnes, are used for lifting jacket segments.