In demand

Originally founded with a focus on specialist subsea vessel design and shipyard supervision, MAATS Tech has since developed its services over the last 25 years to become a marine engineering organisation with a major presence in the offshore engineering industry.

Acting as a main contractor throughout the design, build and installation process for both on-deck and below deck carousels alongside a variety of loading and unloading equipment, MAATS Tech has used its expertise in turnkey ship-based carousel systems to supply approximately 50 carousels to around 30 different types of vessel. Viewed as a world leader in the supply of carousels that are installed below deck, MAATS Tech enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2014 in this business segment. However, with cable lay businesses looking to deliver cabling to offshore platforms, wind farms and, in some cases, power from one island to another through the utilisation of DC power instead of AC, the company also made the strategic decision to progress from pipe lay vessels into cable lay vessels in 2014.

This expansion into the cable-laying sector has proven fruitful for MAATS Tech, with the company taking on a number of projects since it was last featured in Shipping & Marine magazine in March 2015, as Managing Director of MAATS Tech Ltd John Holt discusses: “The progression from umbilical/flex lay to cable lay has been fairly smooth sailing, mainly because the new era of cable lay product is large diameter rather than the old traditional communication and A/C power lines. Diameters and minimum bend radii of the new cables matches in many cases that of the subsea flex umbilicals so the MAATS equipment was easily adapted/transferable into almost a parallel industry.

“As such, 2015 has been a year of concentration on progressing and meeting the time and quality requirements of our order book. In the period March this year to end November MAATS will have installed and commissioned some five carousel systems in a variety of shipyards in Holland, Norway, Korea and Mexico. This has meant further investment in resources both full time and contract and has seen a strengthening of our team in way of hydraulic and software (control systems) capability.”

Following this spate of projects, MAATS Tech announced it had been awarded a major new contract in 2015 after signing a contract with Kleven shipyard in Norway for the delivery and integration of cable lay mission equipment for ABB Ltd’s new state-of-the-art cable lay vessel. MAATS Tech has been working closely with ABB, Kleven and the ship designers Salt Ship to develop a fit for purpose and highly specialised vessel.

“The ABB project is a milestone in MAATS contracts for design and build. The contract to MAATS is from the vessel builder Kleven Verft AS but the concept was ABB generated and brought together by Salt Ship Design and MAATS,” says John. “The scope of supply from MAATS is in the design, provision and installation of two carousels, one on-deck of 7000Te, one below deck of 4000Te capacity plus associated roller pathways, intermediate cable transporter (small tensioners) main four-jaw lay and load tensioners and over boarding chutes. The first for MAATS in this scope is the design/ development of the overall lay system control. This will be enabled by close liaison with our electrical systems provider Europe Marine Control B.V. (EMC) in Holland, who MAATS has worked with for over 15 years, and our recent strategic uptake of Hydraulic and Software personnel.”

He continues: “The reason for ABB choosing MAATS is certainly not price, we are probably middle to high hitters in that league. This project comes on the back of ABB use of the Aker Connector, now Lewek Connector, for its first project to lay 9000 tonnes of power line between Northern Ireland and the UK. The equipment MAATS provided for this project was similar and the project went very well in adverse weather conditions – this coupled to the fact that MAATS have extremely competent concept engineers who also understand vessel dynamics and can work with the vessel designer in defining the vessel structure and the equipment interfaces. For example, MAATS has assisted Salt Ship Design with Finite Element Analysis and scantling definition for the hull and the combined carousel units.” This project is also a milestone for the company in that two new products will be used on the vessel: a four-jaw tensioner designed specifically for handling power cable, transporters (wheeled tensioners) and a modular tower system for the lay of specific products.

As the company focuses on completing its healthy order book over the next 12 months, it is also looking to develop new equipment for the crossover of the flex pipe and power cable laying business while the oil and gas industry recovers from a sluggish period of activity. “We will be looking at resources, possible strategic acquisition and of course marketing ourselves on the back of what we have achieved and our increased capability,” concludes John.

MAATS Tech
Marine engineering consultancy for bespoke equipment and special ship design

Expansion into cable-laying vessels

Awarded major contract with Kleven/ABB delivery 2017