Lankhorst Euronete Portugal (LEP) has completed the engineering, design, fabrication and delivery of the deepwater mooring rope for the Shell Appomattox project. At over 63,000m, it is the longest ever rope meterage for a single deepwater mooring contract.
The Shell Appomattox facility will be a four-column semi-submersible production platform moored using 16 mooring lines arranged in 4x4 clusters, in 2,255m (7,400ft) of water approximately 130km (80 miles) offshore Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Lankhorst is supplying 78 rope lengths totalling over 63,000 metres of Lankhorst’s Gama98® polyester deepwater mooring rope with minimum breaking strength of 21,545 kN.
The Gama98® ropes were manufactured at Lankhorst’s state-of-the-art factory, dedicated to the production of offshore mooring systems, in Viana do Castelo, Portugal. Upon contract award, a significant amount of preparation was required before production of the ropes could begin including design and installation of new equipment to handle the size and payload of the ropes. In addition, a period of prototype rope testing was conducted to verify and prove the rope design. This testing included: breaking strength; linear density; stiffness; splice qualification and particle filter testing.
The project involved a number of industry and Lankhorst firsts. These included: the first time two mooring ropes have been packed on a single reel, the largest reels ever handled (6m dia. x 6.8m traverse), and the heaviest reels ever handled (approx. 120 tonnes). A total of 78 ropes of 273mm diameter were manufactured in lengths of 304, 762 and 914m.
“Our ability to successfully complete this most challenging project reinforces Lankhorst’s position as the global leader in deepwater mooring,” said Neil Schulz, sales director, Lankhorst Offshore. “By combining our technical expertise with the industry’s leading rope engineering and production capability, we’ve been able to meet the most demanding requirements for this showcase project.”