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Steelwork fixings provide flexible maintenance solution

11 June 2007

The ease-of-use and positioning flexibility of Lindapter's steelwork fixings are providing a versatile maintenance solution for the North Rankin A gas production platform, located 135 km offshore of Karratha in Western Australia.

The platform's engineers and maintenance staff employ Lindapter fixings for a broad range of the secondary steelwork structural applications required for the platform's continuing operations. This is because they eliminate the need for welding, and because intrinsic positioning flexibility means that structural tasks can be completed first time. The cost of not being able to finish any task first-time can be very expensive, as supplies must come via helicopter.

Typical operational support jobs on the platform include fixing cable trays, pipe supports, walkways, safety rails/parapets and flooring. Lindapter's Type A fixing is often used for these purposes. These clamps will securely attach equipment to the platform's primary steelwork. As the clamp simply tightens onto an existing structure to fix equipment into place, it can be moved easily during installation to overcome any obstacles. Another feature of this attachment principle for the platform is the way it does not damage the steelwork coatings, which could otherwise lead quickly to corrosion in the harsh, offshore environment with saline spray and other factors.

A number of other Lindapter fixing types are used on North Rankin A. These include Floorfast - which uses a countersunk screw that allows chequerplate flooring to be fixed from one side - and the well-known Hollo-Bolt for attaching onto hollow-section steel.

North Rankin 'A' is one of the largest gas production platforms in the world and is situated in one of the most corrosive environments, 135km north of Karratha in Western Australia.

The platform is the hub of the North West Shelf Venture gas and condensate production facility, which is operated by Woodside Energy Ltd. It is one of the largest capacity gas production platforms in the world. It is linked to the Goodwyn A platform, and the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, Cossack Pioneer. North Rankin A supplies gas and condensate to the Venture's onshore gas plant near Karratha, via two subsea pipelines. Lindapter fixings are also used on the Goodwyn A platform and the Cossack Pioneer.

"The offshore operational environment is very challenging", says Lindapter's Scott Brook. "The costs of downtime are huge and supporting maintenance operations must happen predictably and reliably. Attributes such as positioning flexibility, attachment without welding, and no damage to surface protection coatings, combine to make Lindapter fixings the preferred choice for secondary steelwork applications on the North Rankin A platform".

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