An active heave compensated umbilical winch and skid mounted A-Frame style LARS has successfully completed two separate deep-sea mining missions.

Okeanus equipment

The umbilical winch and LARS have been used in deep-sea mining missions. Photo: Okeanus

Okeanus Science & Technology, LLC (Okeanus) said that its equipment was delivered to Japan’s NiGK Corporation (NIGK) earlier this year. The system underwent strict factory acceptance tests and sea trials and, following its delivery to NiGK’s end customer, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), was then deployed on two separate deep-sea mining missions to successfully recover cobalt crust core samples using NiGK’s new seabed drill.

Benton LeBlanc, Okeanus managing director, said: “The umbilical winch and LARS were successfully tested dockside in Japan earlier this year and, on the successful completion of sea trials, the system was deployed on deep-sea mining expeditions.”

Engineering development

Mounted to a vessel of opportunity, the 10t SWL winch and LARS proved instrumental in the handling of the tethered drill. The Okeanus team were responsible for the engineering development of the skid-mounted umbilical winch and LARS, from concept through to production, and it was manufactured at Okeanus’ facility on FM-529 in Houston, TX.

The active heave compensated LARS incorporated a custom telescoping docking head design and assembly (with failsafe latches); full rotation maneuverability; oversized dual groove over-boarding sheave, for use with the umbilical and positively buoyant strain relief; and an operator-adjustable motion damping feature that allows for safe and efficient shipboard launch and recovery operations.

By Rebecca Jeffrey