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Houlder Strengthens Saipemís Grip in Caspian Sea

Houlder Strengthens Saipemís Grip in Caspian Sea

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22 June 2015

Houlderís Marine Equipment business has delivered a pin pile installation and restraining frame to Saipem as part of the Shah Deniz gas field development. The development, 100km from Baku, Azerbaijan, requires the installation of eight steel jacket foundations for two new platforms. Houlderís frame is currently in use installing temporary pin pile foundations prior to the installation of skirt foundations.

Saipem has installed the innovative restraining frame on the deck of the heavy lift ship Derrick Barge Azerbaijan (DBA) tasked with the jacket installation. It horizontally restrains and adjusts the inclination of 140m, 525t steel foundation monopiles - keeping them vertical as they are driven in 95m of water. This requires the frame to deliver operational horizontal force resistance of 75t in any direction within a 4m diameter operating envelope.

Houlder delivered the contract under a turnkey arrangement Ė being accountable for the design from initial concept through to fabrication. The complete 80t frame was supplied ex-works and packed ready for transport. Houlder then deployed a team to Baku to supervise installation.

Dario Frisinghelli, of Saipem commented "The restraining frame was used for offshore installation of all 8 foundation Pin Piles. The system, acting by hydraulic jacks on two degrees of freedom in the horizontal plane, proved greatly effective during operation. This allowed Saipem to maintain the verticality of the Pile during the transient phase of self-weight penetration to depth of 24m into the seabed. This control was particularly important during the first meters where a layer of hard soil resulted in an extremely reduced penetration speed affecting the overall instability of the pile.Ē