February 2022

New flex-lay enabler underway

MDL is manufacturing a new 4-track tensioner to support global pipe and flex-lay operations.

The system is based on MDL’s patented and DNV-approved TTS-4/140 Tensioner Series design, with upgrades to increase handling capacity.

The design upgrades include an extended track contact length of 4.074m, together with increased squeeze capability of 44.7-tonne per meter per track, which allows for an increased line pull capability of 51-tonne and an improved coefficient of friction (CoF) of 0.07.

This allows for a larger spectrum of product to be safely handled in horizontal or vertical orientation, or greater range of water depths and sea-state windows to be considered.

MDL’s patented cylindrical design allows for two tracks to open in vertical mode and a single track in horizontal or inclined mode, offering optimised clearance for product acceptance and abandonment.

The system has been designed in line with the DNV Recommended Practice for Pipeline and cable laying equipment, the DNVGL-RP-0232.

MDL released the original TTS-4 design into the market in 2014 with the delivery of 3 units in close succession – one of them into its then newly launched cable lay fleet.

The new unit retains all the key safety and operational features of its predecessor, including most notably MDL’s unique Failsafe Grip System, ensuring maintained grip on the handled product even in the event of critical failure or power loss.

Like the rest of MDL’s back-deck equipment range, the system will be road-transportable, allowing the most cost-efficient transit to the project mobilisation port.

Andrew Blaquiere, MDL Managing Director, said:

“Our strategy – in line with MDL’s mission – is to provide our customers with the most efficient solutions to address their operational challenges. Since our client base has grown worldwide, this commitment has required continuous inward investment into our fleet.

“The TTS-4 tensioner range is at the forefront of our offering, cited as the gold standard for safety in pipe and flexible handling operations. The high demand for our original 50-tonne system made it a clear choice as the next addition to our range.

“It complements our portfolio of reel drive systems, deck radius controllers and ancillary equipment to allow customisation of complete back-deck spreads – tailored by our engineering team specifically for the product and vessel.”

MDL’s new tensioner is expected to be available for rent from Q2 this year, with purchase option available.

MDL’s flexlay equipment range currently includes 2- and 4-track systems ranging from 6-tonne to 150-tonne line pull, offering up to 68-tonne per meter per squeeze and 5.5m track contact length – the longest and most capable systems on the market for road-transportable equipment.