Issue 04 2010
Dedicated to the safety of assets, employees and customers alike, the KTV Group is a leading industrial cleaning company in the oil and gas arena.
Founded in 1992, the company has developed a number of its own techniques and methods for effective industrial tank cleaning in a range of challenging environments both on- and offshore. Established under the vision of Kennet Nilsen, the current managing director of the company, who started operations with a single high pressure cleaning machine mounted onto the back of a truck, the organisation is now responsible for serving some of the market leaders. Having rebranded from KTV Industri to the KTV Group in 2009, the company has become synonymous with quality.
Unlike its competitors that offer tank cleaning services among a wider portfolio that may include scaffolding or painting services as well, KTV Group focuses solely on this area for day-to-day business. Its dedication to the field means that the company is forever researching and developing more efficient equipment for faster and safer operation. Kennet outlines the latest in product innovation: “We are currently in the early stages of developing a new concept known as the Freshcom. This is a mask that has the capability to transmit video footage and audio communication from the operator inside the tank to the guard standing on top or outside of it. This is designed to ensure the safety of our staff by maintaining visual contact at all times via a screen outside of the initial tank area where staff can monitor the progress and conditions of the tank cleaning process, while it also enables staff to communicate without removing their masks or protective equipment. The next step will be to add a web-based element, whereby management can view or supervise staff from a control room at any point in time. There is no one else in the industry who can integrate the camera, communication and mask concept in such a way, while it is also essential and unique that the Freshcom is able to withstand the demanding and highly dirty environment of a tank.”
Though in the initial prototype stages of development, Kennet is confident that the Freshcom could be in production within the next four months following highly positive initial results. This innovation will not only be a huge step forward for the industry in terms of safety but it will enable the company to communicate on a completely different level of advancement. With ambition at its very core the KTV Group is also investigating the potential of a cleaning robot for the future of the market. This would be aimed at the excess skin tank field with the key benefit being the reduction of time that an operator has to remain in a dangerous tank. Though this is a long-term goal, the company is hoping to overcome the main challenge of finding the right equipment to handle the various pipe and tank combinations within a year.
Kennet highlights the typical challenges and hazards that KTV Group’s employees meet on a daily basis: “The biggest challenge today is that you are working on tanks that have had various kinds of chemicals inside and though every operator is provided with technical information it is still a huge risk. There is the possibility that the specification given is incorrect and therefore you never know what you are going into. In addition, once you start cleaning with high pressure equipment the whole closed environment changes dramatically within a matter of seconds, to combat this we only use fresh air on all tanks even if there is no gas to ensure the safest possible setting. According to evolving regulations, staff are able to enter a tank without a mask once levels of gas and oxygen have been measured and deemed to be safe, but we believe the greatest benefit of Freshcom will be that it is adaptable especially as situations can change so quickly and without warning. We have the best clothing and protection in the industry, which coupled with our experience and knowledge of the types of materials used in these tanks gives us the capability to plan an efficient service for our customers.”
Before entering into any tank or general cleaning assignment, the KTV Group goes through rigorous planning processes alongside the client covering all elements of safety and risk. The bottom of the tank is the first part to be rigorously cleaned before high pressure washing takes place. Different combinations of chemicals are then applied depending on the use of the tank and the contract is completed with a quality control check. The organisation’s highly recognised expertise in this area and own-brand techniques, methods and equipment have been utilised by the likes of StatoilHydro for its supply boats on the Norwegian coast. Coast Center Base have also employed KTV Group for the cleaning of tankers and drilling rigs, while various contracts have been completed for SAR, Franzefoss and Veolia.
A rapid response time is a further asset of the company, with operational teams being able to be dispatched to demanding assignments within a matter of hours. KTV Group also maintains a close relationship with subcontractors for additional capabilities and the correct disposal of water products.
KTV Group is a service partner for the industry, not only specialising in tank cleaning but general maintenance work and disposal as well. Its highly experienced staff base is frequently hired out for additional projects such as surface treatment, fitting and service tasks that are all backed up by the company’s own quality management systems. “The industry is really starting to hold a focus on safety with stricter regulations and certifications for safer cleaning in hazardous environments, and it is about time. An increasing emphasis on personal and operational safety can only be a good thing for the market and I hope that we will grow to claim the tank cleaning business as our own. It is important that only those with specialised knowledge and experience are able to take care of such a demanding job and I believe that our recognition for such will continue to grow,” Kennet concludes.
Services: Tank cleaning and other services