Many of EM&I’s marine innovations were guided by the requirements of the HITS JIP and in the near future we expect similar inputs from the FloGas (Floating Gas) JIP and our increasing involvement with renewable energy forums.
The HITS (Hull Inspection Techniques and Strategy) JIP was formed in 2010 as part of the international FPSO Forum.
The objective of the HITS JIP was to improve the way the industry inspects the hull envelope of floating assets. This requirement was driven by the trend in the rapidly growing floating production industry towards more complex assets, operating in deep water and with a life on station of 25 years or more.
The consensus that regulators, class, operators and service providers was that the key challenges for hull inspection were:
- Minimising the use of divers for hull inspections
- Minimising man entry for inspection of enclosed spaces
- Minimising cleaning requirements for inspection of cargo oil tanks
EM&I are the project managers for the HITS JIP and set up a series of trials and validations to evaluate technologies that have been developed in response to the above requirements.
Many of these technologies have been proven in the nuclear, gas transmission and aerospace industries and have been combined and adapted to meet the needs of the floating production, drilling and FLNG sectors.
The FloGas JIP is already evaluating regulatory requirements and operator concerns so that an improvement scope can be determined.
Integrity methods for renewable energy sources such as deep-water wind-farms are likely to adapt methods already proven for FPSOs for example, which helps steer EM&I technical development.