Heerema Sets World Records in Independence Hub Installation

Heerema Marine Contractors

Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) recently installed the Independence Hub Facility in the Gulf of Mexico, using its deepwater construction vessel (DCV) Balder. The hub was installed in 8,000 ft deep water and will supply US consumers with 1bn cubic feet of natural gas per day.

During the course of the Independence Hub project HMC set world records for deepest flow line installation (9,000 ft), deepest SCR installation, longest mooring lines (at 2.4 miles each), deepest suction pile installation (at 8,000 ft), heaviest SCR load (800 MT) on a deepwater floating facility, and deepest in-line future tie-in subsea structure.

The Independence Hub facility consists of a semi-submersible hull, with integrated topsides and a 12-line taut polyester mooring system, which supports the steel catenary risers (SCRs).

The SCRs connect a network of flow lines to the hub facility. All gas will flow through one export pipe called the Independence Trail, which export SCR originates from the Hub facility with a 20 inch SCR.

On April 1 the Balder completed the installation by attaching the SCR's flex-joint to the porch of the Independence Hub. The 20 inch SCR sets the record for the deepest and heaviest riser installed in the world.

Despite adverse sea conditions and with the assistance of three tugs, the Balder completed the installation with minimal loss of time.