This summer Genius Vos built a subsea manifold for Stolt Offshore Ltd.

The Genius Vos welders were not able to admire their handiwork for long, however, because straight after completion the manifold was put on a barge and brought to its operating position, 43 metres deep in the UK sector of the North Sea, where it will remain for at least the next 15 years.

The manifold, with its Teflon-coated pipes, weighed in at 95 tonnes and measured 15 metres long, 12 metres wide and 5 metres high. The design features four large-diameter tubes, one at each corner, through which piles have been driven to anchor the manifold firmly to the seabed. The fittings for connecting the new pipes to the existing piping on the seabed were also constructed by Genius Vos. The valves on the manifold can be operated by a DMV, a remote-controlled submersible.

The project involved 6 weeks of preparation and 14 weeks of actual fabrication. ‘It was a challenge for us to meet the delivery deadline without sacrificing quality,’ says project manager Eric van Bennekom. ‘Genius Vos was given the order because we can offer the right combination of price, quality and flexibility. That is something you simply have to deliver. For each possible combination of materials – pipe on flange, pipe on bend, pipe on pipe – our welders had to have specific welder qualifications and each weld had to be passed by the client’s inspectors. Everything worked out fine, including the successful transport of the manifold plus the 40-metre long pipes to the ship in the new Third Harbour, this large transport marking the official commissioning of the new harbour basin.’