Rope Access Rigging - Flare Tip Replacement

Vertech recently delivered a significant and extremely challenging project to replace the flare tip on an offshore fixed platform on the North West Shelf.

A drone inspection in January 2016 revealed serious defects in the flare tip which had the potential to compromise production. Vertech was engaged as the implementation contractor to access the flare via Rope Access and install a trolley A-frame and gantry rail system capable of replacing the five tonne flare tip situated 110 metres above sea level.

The main challenge was to establish safe access to the facility flare tower in order to install a 14.5 tonne mobile platform for what was an emergent, production-critical scope. Vertech crews initially installed the gantry trolley to the flare boom. Additional preparatory works were required for the travel path of the 40t winch wire and the placement and fixing of a two tonne daughter winch. The 40t winch wire was reeved through a sheave cluster at the top of the flare boom using the daughter winch so the gantry platform could be hauled some 80 metres to the flare boom top.

With the orientation of the flare tip being in a challenging position, the flare tip was restrained during its removal lift to mitigate the unknown centre of gravity and to control the load. Riggers released lever hoists from tie down points as the tip was lifted using a pneumatically operated seven tonne chain hoist.

Once stabilised on the transport cone, the gantry trolley was disengaged from the flare tip platform and lowered to the deck. Here the old flare tip was removed and the new tip loaded. The trolley system was then hauled to the top for the installation of the new flare tip.

The team delivered the project at an exceptional level of quality, on time and within budget with all stakeholders thoroughly happy with a job well done.

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