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IMCA annual seminar – all components in place

Published on 14 October 2013

With its theme ‘Addressing the Challenges of New Frontiers’ the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Annual Seminar returns to Singapore after nine years with a programme that features keynote addresses, including one from a Senior Minister from the Republic of Singapore government; presentations, workshops and discussion.

Offshore and onshore management and operational personnel from contractors, equipment suppliers, consultants, oil companies and regulators involved in marine construction and offshore operations will gather at the Shangri-La Hotel on 6 and 7 November for two highly relevant conference days, for which delegates from all over the world are currently registering.

The proceedings will get under way on Wednesday 6 November when Massimo Fontolan of Saipem and the current IMCA President; Mrs Josephine Teo, Republic of Singapore, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport; and Sean Salter of Woodside Energy deliver keynote addresses and take part in a panel discussion.

Networking is vital at events such as IMCA’s Annual Seminar, and networking innovator and motivator, Ed Meaney from CNA will lead a session on ‘Networking – capturing value by removing randomness’ providing insights and tips that will accelerate ‘value capture’ for individuals and their organisations. Thereafter he will be introducing the chairmen of session and encouraging participation by delegates.

The plenary session continues with three presentations: ‘Mutual aid in large-scale offshore incidents – a framework for the offshore oil and gas industry’ (Tore Ulleberg, ConocoPhillips Norge); ‘When things go wrong in offshore construction disputes – litigation, arbitration and mediation’ (William Cecil, Curtis Davis Gerrard LLP) and ‘Risk assessment of malaria offshore – anopheles bite exposure estimated by a new biomarker’ (Patrick Besnard Subsea 7).

Following the lunch break, taken in the exhibition area, the seminar then splits into three parallel sessions Marine, Diving, ROV/Offshore Survey; with workshops following on ‘The provision of armed guards on offshore vessels’; ‘Dive system assurance’; ‘Use of IMCA marine and other organisations’ guidance’; ‘Pipeline inspection – advanced AUV vs fast ROV’ and ‘Local content – how to make it work?’. After summaries of the workshops delegates will be transported to Sentosa Island for the Gala Dinner

Day Two
The morning plenary session on 7 November covers ‘In deep water: the challenges of performing environmental surveys at great depth’ (Geraint Harris-Bryant, Fugro EMU Ltd); ‘Deepwater lowering – a contractor weighing wires and winches’ (Kees van Zandwijk, Heerema Marine Contractors) and ‘The Maritime Labour Convention and its impact on marine contracting’ (Pierre Deletaille, Swire Pacific Offshore) after which the seminar splits once again into its three parallel sessions, reconvening for a second plenary session after lunch.

This second session features two presentations: ‘Synthentics in a controversial market’ (Joost van Ree, Endenburg BV); and ‘New frontiers – marine contracting in changing environments’ (Bionda van Roosendal, Heerema Marine Contractors); and then the seminar once again splits into workshops, this time looking at ‘DP incident reporting’, ‘Hyperbaric evacuation in remote locations’, ‘Technical competence of ROV & offshore personnel’, ‘Learning from incidents – case study?’ and ‘Maritime Labour Convention – MLC’. Following summaries on these workshops and on the seminar as a whole, the event closes with the Apres Seminar Soiree.

IMCA’s Annual Seminar is endorsed by ADC International; the Australasian Hydrographic Society; the Dynamic Positioning Committee MTS, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, IOSH, National University of Singapore Marine Institute, OCIMF, OGP and the Society for Underwater Technology, Subsea Energy Australia, and Petromin, the offshore support journal. The social events are sponsored by Forum Energy Technologies, Griffin Global Group and Etihad Airways, and the National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC).

Dynamic and relevant exhibition – information on some of the exhibits
Over 30 member companies will demonstrate their products and services at the exhibition during breakout periods from the conference. Several have supplied information on the key focus of their exhibit

Abyssal S.A. will launch the Abyssal Operating System for ROVs (Abyssal OS). It promises to revolutionize ROV Operations by introducing new tools to help the pilot and the supervisor to perform safer and more efficient (faster) operations.Abyssal will have a complete version of Abyssal OS control room available for demonstration at the IMCA Annual Seminar, as well as promotional videos and brochures of the product.

Abyssal OS is an advanced real time 3D Visualization and Operation Management System to support ROV Pilots and Supervisors to perform tasks in complex subsea environments, increasing safety and efficiency (up to 40%) during ROV operations.

Used by ROV pilots and supervisors and Subsea Operation Managers, Abyssal OS resorts to Augmented Reality technology combined with telemetry and positioning data to present on the screen relevant and accurate information during the entire operation. With Abyssal technology pilots will improve their overall navigation, visibility and spatial awareness of the operation environment and will be able to locate operational targets with enhanced efficiency and approach them safely, to conduct maintenance, inspection and construction activities.

Ansell Protective Solutions (formerly Trelleborg Protective Products) will be showing a prototype of a proposed new Viking Hot Water Suit which is currently under development. The suit will be manufactured from a new coated neoprene which will be cleanable, and will feature a new on/off valve with a unique”click” feature so the diver cannot rotate the valve in error while working.

Apart from the new Hot Water Suit, they will be displaying their Viking HAZTECH PU diving suit which was launched during 2012. Being of lighter weight than their traditional rubber dry suits, it is particularly suitable for diving in warm water and warm climates. The suit features full EN certification, including additional chemical testing for diving in contaminated waters.

Both products are new additions to the traditional Viking rubber suit ranges, and are taking Viking into new areas of activity. They have a focus on offshore diving, as well as adding to their inshore diving ranges. They will also show new two-piece construction thermal underwear, which is of use to commercial divers who wear membrane dry suits, and have a need for warm, comfortable underwear.

Ansell Protective Solutions (formerly Trelleborg Protective Products) has been manufacturing and distributing the Viking brand of dry diving suits for 60 years, and has a reputation for supplying world class products in the field of contaminated water diving. Being part of the Ansell company, gives them the opportunity of branching out into new areas of activity, hence thei focus on new products like the hot water suit for offshore saturation diving.

Divex will feature the COBRA (Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus) set which has been designed to be as simple as possible to operate and maintain. The set is completely mechanical and relies on no complex electronics for its operation. Like all Divex breathing systems, the equipment is robust and reliable, has a very low work of breathing. COBRA is designed with the intent that the diver should not require to have to think about his life-support equipment, but to be allowed to focus on his task in hand, knowing the life support is always there when required. The new COBRA (Compact Bailout Rebreathing Apparatus) set is being developed to provide a simple, highly reliable breathing system which will offer a diver up to 45 minutes of fully independent breathing gas to return to the safety of the bell.

The new COBRA set has the following advantages:

  • While the existing SLS set is a”parachute” as regards operation, the new COBRA set can be mechanically switched on and off by the diver as a pre-dive check.
  • The COBRA counterlungs are completely encapsulated on the divers back.
  • The COBRA can use either conventional granular CO2 absorbent or a disposable ExtendAir cartridge.
  • Increased positive pressure feed to allow more rapid descent.
  • Smaller than existing SLS Mk4 backpack.
  • Lightweight with easily detachable diving weights, to enable easy handling through locks and in workshop.
  • Easily removable carbon-wrapped twin cylinders accessible for charging.
  • Single turn activation and no counterlung”ripcord”.
  • Safety indicator”Rotowink” mounted on divers helmet for easy reference.

COBRA improves safety while diving in that it provides the diver with a bailout system should they lose their primary gas supply, ensuring they have enough gas to return to the safety of the bell.

KB Associates Pte Ltd will feature the DMAC 15 Medical Kit. They provide a single source solution for a comprehensive DMAC kit; are fully compliant with IMCA DMAC 15 Revision 3 guidelines. The kit comes inclusive of a user handbook, itemised inventory and checklist to monitor use and monthly checks; and the company offers value added service with maintenance and monitoring of expiry dates for various items

Specially tailored to the offshore oil & gas industry, KBAT DMAC kit has been designed to meet the most demanding offshore environment and medical needs. The main case is made of (LLDPE) polyethylene impact resistant and UV stabilised material; known for strength and durability, airtight and water proof with solid stainless steel latches and hinges that will withstand any harsh shipping conditions.

Other exhibits will include commercial diving related training such as:

  • IMCA Training Courses (ALST, ADS, BDS, DMT/Refresher)
  • OGP Client Representative Training
  • Diving System Assurance Training

And Safety Course such as

  • NEBOSH Training Courses from WSH Qualification to International Diploma levels

These are of use to: Safety Teams and Commercial Divers

Their subsidiary, KBA Europe has relocated to a larger office at Minto Drive, Altens Industrial Estate which has multiplied the previous office space to 3000 sq ft that will facilitate both the consultancy and training services offered. The move is essential especially with the rapid growth of their UK operations along with the necessary skills development that will be needed to cope with the pending projects for both themselves as well as thei clients. With their own training rooms and fully fledged facilities, they now have the capacity to conduct more regular scheduled training courses with a fixed location.

In addition, the partnership with Chichester Medical Education Centre (CMEC) has enabled them to offer an incomparably high standard of Diver Medic training to UK delegates. The centre offers state of the art training facilities and equipment, as well as access to a modern hyperbaric chamber to ensure that all delegates can enjoy practical hands-on training.

Winter schedules are out for IMCA Diver Medic Technician / Refresher training and OGP Client Representative training.

Maritime Assurance & Consulting Ltd launched the marine element of their service offering earlier this year; therefore they will continue with this and will also be promoting DP consulting. They are looking to recruit team members for these business streams to strengthen their overall business profile, service current business and forecasted sales in the pipeline. They have also increased their office space in anticipation of additional team members.”These are exciting times at MAC as we look to expand the business”, they say, adding:”Last year our focus at IMCA was Expansion. This year our focus is Growth”

MAC was formed in January 2011 and has witnessed unprecedented growth since launch, statistics from this financial year ended 30th June 2013 include:27% growth in revenue compared to last year.

MAC’s dynamic positioning (DP) offering has grown consistently on a local basis, and has also secured business in Norway, the US and Far East regions.

The naval architecture side of the business is also experiencing a high volume of contracts and this team has also expanded this year, having gained many new customers and contracts within Europe and as far afield as Australia.

The third business area – marine consulting – was launched earlier this year and is going from strength to strength, with current clients including BP and ongoing projects including some of the largest in the UKCS at present.

Meanwhile sister recruitment company – MAC Resourcing Ltd – has also recorded a record financial year, with revenue rising. It has been an encouraging start to this year – sales for the first six months are up by 80%.

The Resourcing team is focusing efforts on a pool of customers specialising in the marine, drilling and engineering disciplines. Agreements were recently signed with a number of new clients including locally based international operators and contracting companies which is extremely promising.

Since launching with a two man team in January 2011, MAC now employs 24 team members and 30 associate consultants. Key successes this year include:

  • settling into new headquarters
  • winning ‘Service Business of the Year’ at the UK Startups Awards
  • launching the marine business
  • securing many new customers and contracts
  • extensive charity work
  • achieved bronze award under the Healthy Working Lives scheme &

Marine Cybernetics is focusing on DynCap (Dynamic Capibility); it is the next generation dynamic capability analysis. DynCap employs sophisticated time-domain simulation to assess the real station-keeping performance of a DP vessel.

  • BOP – HIL Testing
  • DP – HIL Testing
  • Drill – HIL Testing
  • Integration HIL Testing

They will be focusing on their services mainly HIL (hardware-in-the-loop) Testing Technology. With HIL testing, they are able to detect hidden software errors, erroneous configuration parameters, and design flaws within any system software. HIL testing has major industry benefits, a couple which include:

  • Reducing risk for incidents and accidents
  • Reducing risk for off-hire and non-productive time
  • Securing safe and reliable operations
  • Securing flawless start-ups

HIL testing is performed in a virtual test bed in a HIL test lab, using sophisticated HIL simulators of the given system’s requirements. The CyberSea HIL simulator responds to the commands given from the Control System in a realistic manner, and feedback from sensors and actuators to the control system is simulated according to the project specific equipment. The control system responds as it would in real operation onboard a ship or rig. Functionality, performance, failure handling capability and safety-critical software barriers can then be tested systematically in a controlled environment. . HIL testing is performed in a virtual test-bed where there is no risk to man, vessel, or equipment. HIL testing is a well proven test methodology from automotive, avionics, space, power electronics, robotics, and nuclear industries.

National Hyperbaric Centre will be promoting their newly updated and improved software package, DiveCert. This allows you to easily manage the certification of your air and saturation dive system assets in accordance with IMCA guidance. Certificates/work orders are created using a template-driven interface and stored in a database for logical retrieval by clients or auditors. DiveCert ensures compliance by notification of pending or overdue certification expiration.

The newly released Version 1.0 introduces planned maintenance and asset management capabilities along with simplified software and support licensing.

The National Hyperbaric Centre will be promoting their IMCA approved Subsea Diver-related Training Courses and their Worldwide Consulting Services to strengthen their presence in Singapore as they continue to expand their global reach.

“Our renowned training courses have been going from strength to strength within the past couple of years as we have established bases around the world in order to make our courses more accessible. As IMCA strives to improve safety and regulations worldwide, the industry attitude is improving as more and more companies realise the importance of good practice and competence. NHC have been running IMCA approved courses for many years and their experienced trainers have now established themselves in locations worldwide, making quality training more accessible and helping to improve safety and standards globally.”

NHC has an established Consulting Service providing skilled and competent professionals including Client Representatives & Dive System/ROV Auditors to support clients onshore and offshore. Their staff ensure audits are carried out in accordance with best industry practice and in compliance with industry legislation worldwide.

NHC is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary and is celebrating in Singapore, sponsoring the IMCA annual Seminar final evening drinks reception.

Other exhibits will include: Their Testing and Emergency Services departments ,including their new service DiveDoctor which is an emergency telephone service for small diving contractors.

NETmc Marine Limited – As new IMCA members, this will be their first IMCA event. They will be exhibiting the following two newly launched products; a new high definition (1080i) camera and recording system (DVCi) that generates smaller files than most standard definition DVRs and a range of diver video systems; cameras, lights, controllers and integrated DVR.

The DVCi system (Digital Video Camera Inspection): This system encodes the video in the camera, rather than using a separate DVR at the topside, which brings four main benefits,

  • Noise reduction in encoded file
  • More highly compressed but fully 1080i compliant video allowing..
  • Low bit rate for transmission, enables use of and Ethernet link, leaving plenty of bandwidth for other equipment to go over the fibre, or a coax or twisted pair
  • Complete camera and video recording from a single supplier.

The DVCi is a step change in video acquisition. In the past companies have had to buy an HD camera and DVR separately, this can cause problems of incompatibility and trouble shooting if things go wrong. Furthermore, clients are continuously trying to decrease the volume of data generated from inspections, historically a 1 hour video inspection might have generated 10GB or more of data, however the DVCi will generate less than 1GB for the same duration and in the same conditions.

The DVCi can be used on ROVs or for diver use (hand held) via the bell tether.

They will also show a range of diver video systems: Their new range of diver hat and decompression chamber cameras and lamps will be on display with associated topside equipment. The hat cameras are 650 TVL high resolution standard definition cameras, most other cameras in this price bracket are 350-460 TVL and, along with the LED lamps, are small and lightweight. Their pricing is based on keeping the underwater assets lower cost i.e. the camera, lamp and video cable off which there are two options on being a micro cable that is light, flexible and only 7.5mm in diameter.

The topside units can be supplied in Pelicases or as rack mounted units for the larger spreads. All their topside units can take in an audio signal from the diver comms system and some will have optional video overlay or GPS input.

This show is special to NETmc Marine as it is one of the few events in the calendar that is entirely focussed on their market and is aimed at their global target audience. It allows for new technology to brush up with existing equipment and will give them the feedback they need to help develop their products for the future.

Their featured products can be used by all levels of ROV operators, commercial divers deep water and coastal alike for the acquisition of high quality video footage recorded in up to date digital video formats.

Also on show will be their DDL-R, a 1U MPEG4 SD DVR with an on-screen dive log for generating a report for client signature or an HTML report than can optionally have hyper links to media files.

NETmc Marine products can be used by all levels of ROV operators, commercial divers deep water and coastal alike.

Their DVCi has been acclaimed my many to be a step change in the acquisition of video in the ROV and diving sector. Oil companies are mostly interested in reducing the volume of data generated by any inspection, but particularly from video inspections. Historically using composite video signals sent through ROV multiplexors (mux) has generated noise at almost every change of wiring configuration from the Camera cable to the ROV pod and onwards via mux, sliprings, deck cables and a multiture of video cables and connectors, these noisy signals make it difficult for a digital video recorder to operate, so as the DVCi is totally digital from the back of the camera to the surface a lot of the problems are overcome.

Add to that the incredibly reduced file sizes generated for the same duration of work e.g. 1hr of HD video would have historically generated 10GB or more where as the DVCi will generate less than 1GB for the same period, under the same conditions. This, more than the mere fact that it is HD video, is what the Oil companies like about the system.

Pipeline and Piling Services Ltd will feature Quickflange. A method of attaching a flange to a pipe using a cold swaging technique that enables the”Quickflange” to be used in areas where welding is either not practical or not allowed due to the presence of flammable gasses. The Quickflange can also be used subsea on pipeline repairs. It is quicker and easier and cheaper than conventional alternatives and is fully testable. It is DNV approved and has undergone a wide range of testing in order to get this approval.

“Quickflange” data sheets, track records and samples will be available as well as demonstrations of the installation of a 1″ flange on a pipe. This is new, fast, testable, for use in refineries and petro chemical plants, on FPSOs and other hazardous areas and can also be used subsea. It comes in virtually any material and most pressure ratings. It has a short delivery time and the customer (who could be an oil or gas company, vessel owner, petro chemical plant owner or diving company) can be trained to install it. It is simple and the technique can have many other applications.

They will also have Pipeline and Piling Services brochures on their other pipeline maintenance and repair products for pipelines, either subsea or on the surface.

Pipeline and Piling Services is the only company in Thailand, indeed in Asia offering a comprehensive range of equipment, techniques and trained personnel, for installing, testing and maintaining pipelines either above water or subsea.

Rovsco will highlight four key products:

  • Rovsco TDC „¢ – Total Dive Controllers – A new product from Rovsco – Provides total control for a diving operation
  • ROVSCO DVU „¢-100 – A new product – Full featured Divers Video Unit for 19 inch Rackmount Systems.
  • Rovsco RD400 „¢-AL – Divers wide angle high resolution color video camera, rugged but light weight
  • Caviblaster – The safe marine growth cleaning system – These systems are safe to use, yet effective for subsea cleaning from Barnacles to Oysters in one sweep. There are many advantages of this system over conventional high pressure water blasting and brush cleaning systems.

They will be particularly focusing on the following:

  • Rovsco’s full line of TDCs Total Dive Controllers
  • Rovsco’s full line of Divers Video Units
  • Rovsco Diver Cameras
  • Rovsco underwater Halogen and LED lights
  • Caviblaster underwater marine growth cleaning systems
  • ROV Quick Release Shackles
  • ROV Video Cameras
  • ROV Parts & Equipment
  • Winches & Reels for diving & ROVs

Rovsco is constantly working on new products for enhancing the safety and effectiveness of commercial diving & ROVs in 2013 and beyond.

Looking back – and further information
Over 440 offshore and onshore management and operational staff, equipment suppliers, consultants, representatives from oil companies and regulators from 20 countries attended the 2012 IMCA Annual Seminar which was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in late November. Keynote speakers included Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Massimo Fontolan of Saipem and then IMCA’s Vice-President; Ronnie Bonnar, Managing Director of Repsol Nuevas Energias; Cato Hordnes, Advisor Subsea and Diving Intervention of Statoil; and Ruud Zoon, Managing Director GDF Suez.

Further information on all aspects of the IMCA Annual Seminar are available from [email protected] , through the events pages of the website at and from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.

Views can be shared via IMCA’s LinkedIn and Facebook groups and on Twitter with the Twitter ‘handle’ @IMCAint.

Views can be shared via IMCA’s LinkedIn group ; their Facebook group; and by use of Twitter with the Twitter ‘handle’ @IMCAint.

Notes to Editors

IMCA is an international association with well over 900 members in 60 countries, as at May 2013, representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, South America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and Central & North America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training. IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.

IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports. These have been developed over the years and are widely distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document, safety recommendation, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and safety flashes.

Judith Patten is here to help you if you want any additional information on IMCA; would like to discuss a feature article; want to organise interviews with key members of the IMCA team, etc.

Press releases issued by:

Judith Patten at JPPR

34 Ellerker Gardens, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 6AA, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8241 1912

Fax: +44 (0) 20 8940 6211

Judith Patten

For more details, please contact Chris Charman, IMCA Chief Executive