Seatools Unveils New Deepwater Excavator

Carrera E 3D motion-controlled precision flow excavation spread (Image: Seatools)
Carrera E 3D motion-controlled precision flow excavation spread (Image: Seatools)

Subsea technology company Seatools has introduced the Carrera E 3D motion-controlled precision flow excavation spread. The 630+ kW, all-electric deepwater excavator features Seatools’ advanced ROV DP technology and sets the stage for better accuracy, production and workability in the mass flow excavation (MFE).

Seatools developed the Carrera E mass flow excavation spread leveraging its capabilities in heave compensation and ROV control technologies. The patent-pending spread features 3D motion control, which enables precision excavation operations at a minimum of seabed disturbance. Thanks to the Carrera E’s incorporated dynamic positioning (DP) capabilities, the tool may follow a preprogrammed track (e.g., a cable route) with high precision and in a highly automated manner.

Seatools said it arrived at the design by performing a holistic analysis on subsea excavation operations. Johan Sol, responsible for business development, explained, “Early on in the development process we analyzed excavation operations as well as the direct and indirect cost drivers from a client point of view. Especially in terms of indirect cost drivers – vessel day rates, environmental downtime, survey costs, and crew costs – we found significant room for improvement: in some cases, total project costs could be cut by 50 percent while realizing reduced environmental impact and safety improvements.”

The Carrera E is launched by means of a dedicated, actively heave-compensated launch and recovery system (LARS) that minimizes trench depth variation, and, under all circumstances, prevents physical contact between the product and the excavator. The motion control technologies – AHC and DP – maximize the spread’s workability and boost both production rates and dredging tolerances.

According to Seatools, the Carrera E’s boosted production rates can be attributed to a highly powerful and efficient all-electric drive configuration. With over 500 kW of installed power dedicated to dredging, the spread takes on a wide range of soil conditions, the manufacturer said. Despite its hefty power rating, the MFE spread is compact in size. The LARS, including tool, only requires a 20-foot container footprint and a minimum of vessel interfaces. Combined with the fact that no tugger wires are required, all this means the Carrera E can be deployed from a wide range of vessels, including smaller, low day rate vessels.

Another cost saver results from the high level of automation: in case of 24-hour operations, the spread can be operated by just four operators. Value creation also results from its integrated survey capabilities. The Carrera E enables pre-process, intermediate, and post-process surveys without requiring a separate WC-ROV spread. In turn, creating a far more (cost-)efficient workflow.

Sol said, “We intend to upset the MFE market’s status quo. The Carrera E precision flow excavation spread represents a whole new performance level in terms of productivity, accuracy, environmental impact, and safety. And we’re eager to see the change it will produce in markets such as offshore renewables, offshore decommissioning, and offshore oil and gas construction.”

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