North East Business Awards Success

Houlder is celebrating being shortlisted for innovation by the prestigious North East Business Awards, held in association with the North East England Chamber of Commerce. They are the biggest of their kind in the UK and the innovation category is highly competitive with a wide range of companies and projects eligible for recognition.

Maria Tilemachou and Natalie Dawson (left) collected our finalist award.

The judges considered all aspects of  a innovative new products or services entered including research and development, launch activity and  commercial success.  Houlder’s work for offshore wind clients fit the bill. Specifically, Houlder’s Monopile Lifting and Upending Tool (pictured as a 3D model above), which allows for 850t steel piles to be remotely lifted and rotated during windfarm construction, was recognised as being worthy of praise.

The Monopile Lifting and Upending Tool  was designed by Houlder’s marine, mechanical and control engineers for safer and faster offshore wind farm installation operations.  Its remote controlled hook-up and release system engages directly with the foundation’s flange to lift and upend them  through 90 degrees. This eliminates the need for human intervention around additional lifting points or straps – the optimal solution where the lifting point overhangs the deck or is out of reach.

It is a self-contained system with rechargeable hydraulic and electric supplies. Recharging is carried out at a deck-mounted docking station, avoiding the need for additional connections or power lines during lifting operations. The use of high strength steel provides a robust and lightweight structure with clear and easy access to all inspection and maintenance areas. The control system ensures both simplicity of use, as well as fail-safe operations.

North East Business Awards

One tool has recently been de-mobilised following a successful rental agreement with GeoSea, DEME Group’s specialist in complex offshore marine construction projects. It had been selected to install monopile foundations during the Horns Rev 3 windfarm installation project.  It successfully lifted and upended 49 6.5m diameter, 690t piles off the coast of Denmark without incident or downtime. Houlder engineers have gone on to to develop similar lifting technology for larger jacket foundations.

The North East Business Awards’ regional winner were announced on March 8th at a glittering black tie dinner at Ramside Hall, Co. Durham.

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“Charting a ‘solo’ course through this swirl of uncertainty is close to impossible. That’s why we’re often asked by clients to build their knowledge, evaluate their challenges and assess their options. We work closely with research funds and clean-tech providers by bringing decades of industry experience to bear. Our position is independent, technical ‘client friend’ for the decarbonising decades ahead.”

Rupert Hare, Chief Executive Officer