Innovation & Technology Award for IHC Engineering Business

28 December 2011

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 bilion 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.

Company profile IHC Merwede

IHC Merwede is focussed on the continuous development of design and construction activities for the specialist maritime sector. It is the global market leader for efficient dredging and mining vessels and equipment – with vast experience accumulated over decades – and a reliable supplier of custom-built ships and supplies for offshore construction.

IHC Merwede has in-house expertise for engineering and manufacturing innovative vessels and advanced equipment, as well as providing life-cycle support. Its integrated systematic approach has helped to develop optimum product performance and long-term business partnerships.

The company’s broad customer base includes dredging operators, oil and gas corporations, offshore contractors and government authorities.

IHC Merwede has over 3,000 employees based at various locations in The Netherlands, China, Croatia, France, India, the Middle East, Nigeria, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Technological innovation will remain the company’s underlying strength through its continuous investment in research and development. Moreover, it helps to safeguard a sustainable environment.