New possibilities with
floating gin poles

Wagenborg Foxdrill, among others, is specialized in assembling, disassembling and adapting drilling rigs for offshore purposes. A restriction at rigs is often the availability of cranes to execute the lifting activities; the cranes present on board often lack capacity or length of boom. Crane vessels are very expensive to mobilize and also not always available. That’s why we are looking for other solutions.

Before mobile cranes appeared on to the market so called ‘floating gin poles’ were used: a kind of hoist with which, in combination with winches, sheaves and wires, it was possible to create a hoisting construction. This technique has been used for ages to build all kind of constructions, like skyscrapers and other structures like the Eifel tower.

During the seventies and eighties of last century Wagenborg Foxdrill already used a floating gin pole. This was an improvised piece of equipment made out of a jib boom of a mobile crane. For that time it was okay to work with, but due to the increasing safety regulations it was decided not to useit anymore. Besides, working with this system on great heights and with heavy loads brought too many risks as well.

Of late Wagenborg Foxdrill sees an increase of requests for decommissioning or adapting drilling rigs. Using a floating gin pole, meeting the present safety and quality requirements, is essential; that’s why the company decided to develop and build a completely new system. Its own engineers developed the first ideas, after which a package of demands was presented to Conbit B.V. This company has a wide experience of developing complex hoisting systems that have  to answer to high demands.

The new system is modular as regards to construction, which makes it adaptable per project and to the  circumstances. Loads up to 5 tons can be hoisted at a distance of 5 metres. Of course the systems meet the highest standards for quality quality and safety aspects.

Just with the purchase of a hoisting system the story has not been told: surely as important is the training of people working with the system. That’s why Wagenborg Foxdrill decided to develop a derrick serving as a training object. With this Wagenborg Foxdrill’s rigger can train both with the new floating gin pole as with other existing special  equipment. To meet the community’s environmental permission only the lower part of this test derrick will be permanently constructed at the backyard of Wagenborg Foxdrill, at the Kampenstraat in Oldenzaal (height 13.50 metres). At most 5 times a year the test derrick is allowed to be constructed up to the maximum height of 30 metres.

Besides a test object for hoisting systems the test derrick can also be used to train employees to work on heights (e.g. rope access). Wagenborg Foxdrill hopes to finalize the complete derrick in the first half of 2013 whereupon the first tests with the floating gin pole system can start. When the results are positive and the employees are acquainted with the system, the company’s opinion is that it can prepare even better for for the customers’ demands.