Giant pipe-laying tower leaves the Tyne

ON ITS WAY ... the 45m-tall pipe-laying tower leaves the Port of Tyne.
ON ITS WAY ... the 45m-tall pipe-laying tower leaves the Port of Tyne.

A GIANT pipe-laying tower today left the Port of Tyne, on its way to Rotterdam.

The 45m construction belonging to IHC Engineering Business (IHC EB) has towered over the Port since last November.

In a complex operation lasting more than 24 hours, it was loaded aboard the Meri heavy load vessel, which will deliver it to Holland, to be installed onto a pipe-laying vessel designed and constructed by IHC group.

The tower was constructed at IHC EB over a seven-month period, and represents the state-of-the-art in pipe-laying technology.

It is a very visible testament to the booming offshore industry present on the Tyne.

Steven Harrison, the Port’s chief operating officer, said: “We have built a close customer relationship with IHC EB since they relocated to our Tyne Dock Estate in 2010.

“This is one of many construction projects which IHC EB has loaded from the Port’s Riverside Quay, and we hope there will be many more in the future as the river sees more demand from the emerging oil and gas fabrication sector.”

IHC EB has been a designer, manufacturer and installer of bespoke equipment for the offshore industries since 1997.

Alan Conway, IHC Engineering Business construction manager, said: “The 700-tonne tower was constructed for a joint venture between Sapura Kencana and Seadrill.

“It will eventually be used in the laying of underwater deep-sea flexible pipe and umbilicals essential for oil production in Brazil.

“The project has been challenging, but exciting, and the load-out went as planned with the support of the Port of Tyne’s excellent operations team.”

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