Energy industry supplier’s global success

Seabed Scour Control Systems Ltd (SSCS™) is acknowledged as a world leader in the provision of Frond Scour Protection Systems for the global Oil and Gas and Renewable Energy Industries.

SSCS was established to meet the demand from the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry to address the impact of seabed scour on platforms, pipelines and similar subsea structures installed initially in the UK North Sea, resulting in the successful development and deployment of the SSCS Frond Mat.

SSCS has since extended its marketing area of operations worldwide and from its headquarters in Great Yarmouth is meeting customer requirements in regions including the Far East, Middle East, the USA and China.

To complement the services it was already successfully providing, SSCS subsequently added to this with the acquisition of Marricks in 1993 and Hoistpalm in 1994 and incorporating them to form SSCS Lifting which is now equally acknowledged for its professionalism and ability to rapidly respond to and meet customer demands.

Attention to safety and equipment in every operation is paramount to SSCS and this is maintained by a programme of continuous training and certification throughout its entire operations. SSCS Lifting operates as a division of SSCS and combines expertise with many years’ experience and are not only manufacturers and suppliers of lifting products but additionally offer a genuine problem-solving capability for all lifting and lashing problems covering all areas of testing and certification.

The company operates a quality assurance system to BS EN ISO 9001 which is assessed by LRQA and SSCS Lifting is approved to DNV 2.7-1 for the manufacture of lifting sling assemblies for offshore containers as well as being full members of the LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association).

Testing and certification work is supported by a fully computerised certification management system, which maintains a comprehensive client database with records of each individual item of equipment which can be used to compile factory, site, vessel, rig or platform registers.

An extensive range of test equipment can offer both on-site and a call out service to inspect, test and certify lifting equipment and machinery. Additionally, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) including Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) and Dye Penetrant (DP) and other forms of NDT including Visual Weld Testing (VT).

SSCS Lifting continue to invest and train staff to the highest level, to always provide the best Lifting expertise and service for our customers. Already this year another one of our LEEA engineers has passed his Visual Testing course.

SSCS Lifting is unique in the fact that all Webbing Slings and Roundslings are manufactured in house with 100% UK sourced materials and hand made by expert machinists. SSCS’s devotion to produce the highest quality products has led to the Webbing department this year manufacturing non-stop producing thousands of slings and buckles for several large orders and bespoke slings for complex projects.

SSCS Subsea has remained busy throughout the winter, the most recent project was to provide scour protection to a pipeline in the North Sea. SSCS have been working on projects in the North Sea for 35 years and in fact, SSCS’s first ever project in 1984 was to protect a pipeline in the North Sea. This recent project was another repeat job that SSCS has been providing to a leading Independent Exploration and Production Company for many years due to the continued success of the SSCS Frond Mats.

The Fronded Concrete Mattress solution was provided jointly by SSCS and Subsea Protection Systems (SPS) – specialists in design, manufacture and supply of concrete – with the concrete mattresses offering immediate impact protection while the SSCS Fronds prevent scour. As world leaders in their respective fields, SSCS and SPS have been working closely together for many years to provide such hybrid Frond and concrete solutions, including for pipeline and cable protection and stabilisation.

Another project SSCS supplied this year was for Total E&P Myanmar (Total) for one of their pipelines in the Yadana field in the Andaman Sea which required freespan rectification and future protection from scour. A ‘freespan’ is a stretch of pipeline where the seabed supporting it has been scoured away leaving the pipeline suspended, increasing the risk of pipeline fatigue and, in extreme cases, fracturing. SSCS supplied Mats in early February with the installation scheduled for end of March, early April. When Total encountered the scour issues, they immediately instructed their installation contractors to use SSCS, due to the success of previous projects for which they utilised SSCS Frond Mats.

SSCS are also taking massive steps forward in the international wind farm market including in China where we have been exporting to for approximately 2 decades. In this time the SSCS Frond Mat has built a successful reputation in the Oil and Gas industry and is widely used by the Oil & Gas majors SINOPEC & CNPC. This has helped give SSCS the opportunity to work on the new and developing Chinese offshore windfarms.

Last year SSCS were contracted to provide a demonstration of the SSCS Frond Mats for the wind turbine foundations on the Binhai North H2 windfarm, which is located off the coast of Lianyungang in the Yellow Sea. The success of the SSCS Frond Mats was evident from the results of the 3month post installation survey as the turbines at which the Mats were placed had zero scour and had accumulated 15-20cm of sediment creating natural banks and permanently stabilising the seabed.

Not only are the SSCS Frond Mats being used on the other side of the world to protect wind farms but SSCS are in close collaboration with UK and EU windfarm owners and operators. We are currently working with a leading offshore wind developer and a consortium of leading companies within their respective fields on a project to develop and demonstrate a self-installing scour protection system (SISProtect). The £1M project is anticipated to save an average wind farm around £8.6m over its lifetime, based on 2016’s cost reduction monitoring framework. The project is being partially funded by InnovateUK as part of the UK Government’s drive to encourage and promote growth and innovation within the UK offshore wind industry.

SSCS also support offshore operations by protecting temporary assets from scour, such as Gulf Marine Services (GMS) jack-up rigs used during 2018/19 to provide offshore accommodations for technicians working at East Anglia ONE and Hornsea. These Jack-up vessels have 4 ‘legs’ and when the vessel is in position the legs are lowered to the seabed lifting the vessel out of the water to create a platform. As the jack-up’s position was in a scour prone environment the leg penetration depth and stability could not be guaranteed resulting in GMS utilising the SSCS Frond Mats to provide immediate and field-proven seabed stability thus eliminating these scouring concerns.

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