Originating in the heart of Holland, IHC Handling Systems VOF was established in 1955 as Boer Berkel.
The company is now part of IHC Merwede, world market leader and specialist in building state-of-the-art offshore, efficient dredging and mining vessels and related equipment. Focused on a multidisciplined global market, IHC Merwede segregated its units into four divisions: dredging, mining, offshore and technology & services. As part of the technology & services division, IHC Handling Systems has more than 50 years experience operating in the oil and gas market and has worked on over 1500 offshore projects with tailor-made solutions.
Boasting a rich history as an innovative and problem solving company, IHC Handling Systems has developed the expertise to find solutions for various offshore installation or removal challenges to become a global player in the supply of handling equipment for the installation of platforms, offshore windmills and pipelines. Working for global installation contractors, the company, alongside its sister companies IHC Hydrohammer, a designer, builder and supplier of hydraulic piling hammers, and IHC Sea Steel, developer of subsea solutions, IHC Handling Systems offers a full package of offshore installation equipment, either from its standard product range or to the specific requirements of its customers. The three units are currently working closely on a range of projects within the offshore wind farm industry and decommissioning sector.
Although more than £20 billion per year is spent on the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves in the UK, there will be an increase in the number of oil and gas installations decommissioned over the next few decades. With this in mind, IHC Handling Systems has a large focus on the decommissioning market, taking on projects that involve the removal of jackets, subsea templates, structures and pipelines through the supply of customised equipment or, in some cases, equipment that is modified from existing tools. One such product available for customers during decommissioning operations is the internal lifting tool (ILT), which can be used for lifting structures, structure sections and topside modules.
Being part of the IHC Merwede group, IHC Handling Systems benefits from having a well-known name in the offshore industry and the financial support of its parent company as well as full availability of the group’s large machine shops. Despite these advantages, a major element of IHC Handling Solutions’ success stems from its work in research and development. In the final quarter of 2012, the company designed, constructed and installed a pile guiding tool on a new jack-up vessel, for the installation of 80 at-sea wind turbine foundations at the Meerwind Offshore wind farm project based in the German North Sea.
As part of an extensive package of advanced handling and lifting equipment that was also supplied by IHC Handling Systems, the new pile guiding tool is a replacement for the commonly used upending bucket and guiding positioning tool as it combines two operations, positioning and tilting, into one piece of equipment. Saving valuable time throughout the installation process, the pile guiding tool is also much lighter and takes up less deck space. Other lifting and handling equipment supplied to contractor included a 700 tonne upending tool and accompanying hydraulic power packs. Produced in conjunction with several sister companies, including IHC Vremac Cylinders, IHC Hydrohammer and IHC Winches, the new IHC Handling Systems tool enables the lifting and positioning of monopiles to be completed more efficiently than they were before.
With an increase in projects in the wind energy industry, IHC Handling Systems has also been involved in the West of Duddon Sands wind farm project in the UK, which involved the delivery of several tools such as jacket pile grippers, an internal lifting tool, upending tool, a leveling tool and the purchase of transition piece lifting tools. All tools are required by four different contractors in order to lift and place 108 piles and transition pieces safely and efficiently. Furthermore, following the company’s successful assistance in the Global Tech One offshore wind farm project in the German North Sea through the delivery of rental equipment, two 800 tonne leveling tools and an upending frame have been fully operational for over a year.
Dedicated to innovation, the company is in the process of enhancing the upending tool, which will become part of the company’s wide rental fleet by early 2014. It is designed for lifting large diameter piles, with a maximum lifting capacity of 1000 tonnes and is suitable for piles with an upper diameter ranging from 4700 millimetres to 6000 millimetres. It can also be easily adapted to a different pile diameter by adding space sets to the product’s gripping wedges.
Known as ‘problem solvers’ within the industry, the company is evolving in line with the changing needs of the oil and gas sector by identifying opportunities and translating them into practical applications. “This is why our company statement “No limits, No boundaries” is well known by our customers,” says Pieter Korterink, sales manager at IHC Handling Systems. For example, IHC Handling Systems has heeded the demand for equipment that can operate in deeper waters by adapting a wide range of tools to be operational in depths up to 3000 metres. As a company that has stayed ahead of market developments for many years, IHC Handling Systems is sure to continue offering cutting-edge solutions to the most challenging of projects for years to come.
IHC Handling Systems VOF
Services: Design and supply of offshore handling equipment and services