Chiles Offshore has taken delivery in the USA of a massive 200t BOP (blow-out prevention) handling system from German pneumatic hoist specialist JD Neuhaus (JDN).

The system, which is used for lowering a cap onto the well head of a drilling rig, consists of two air driven JDN ultra-low headroom monorail hoists, each with a capacity of 100t. It will be installed on the jackup rig Chiles Discovery, which is being built at the Amfels shipyard in Brownsville, Texas. The rig is designed for operating in waters up to 110m deep and will be working in the Gulf of Mexico.

Having already built BOP handling systems of this size for the Rowan Companies Inc.’s ‘Gorilla’ class of jackup rigs, lifting capacity was not a problem for JDN’s engineers. On receiving the enquiry in August 2000, the challenge was to satisfy the customer’s requirement for a headroom of less than 1m for a 100t hoist. In response, the engineers came up with a solution with a headroom of just 700mm – the UH 100 hoist – and was thus awarded the contract. Within a month JDN had supplied three-dimensional drawings to Chiles Offshore showing the final layout of the lifting gear. The unit was delivered at the beginning of May.

Between winning the contract and delivering the unit, JDN was awarded a second contract from Chiles Offshore for a similar BOP handling system for another drilling rig. This is planned for delivery in October.