FoundOcean teams up with BASF to launch a faster, cheaper and safer offshore grouting system


Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing (centre)
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing (centre)

FoundOcean has launched an integrated material and service system for the provision of a new high strength grout for the offshore gas, oil, and renewables sectors to an industry audience in Edinburgh, which also included Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and Maria McCaffery, MBE, Chief Executive of RenewableUK

FoundOcean specialises in securing the foundations of oil and gas platforms and offshore wind turbines.

Designed in partnership with BASF, MasterFlow 9800 is set to revolutionise offshore grouting, by introducing a high strength grout with unrivalled operational advantages.

The material is able to be shipped and stored in silos rather than bags, facilitating quayside storage in all weathers, more flexibility in deck layout and no requirement for bag or container lifting during grouting operations and dockside resupplies.

The high strength grout is the result of three years of joint development, the primary purpose of which has been to deliver significant and quantifiable improvements in productivity and safety when grouting offshore structures.

Managing Director Jim Bell said: “FoundOcean recognised a need amongst its customers for a material that could provide high early strength development and low temperature performance, yet also offer increased efficiency, safety and cleanliness,”

MasterFlow 9800 will contribute to driving down the installed cost of offshore renewable energy”.

Also attending the launch and live grouting demonstration at FoundOcean’s workshop in Livingston were construction experts from Scottish Power, Scottish & Southern Energy, Mainstream Renewables, Dong Energy and Repsol.

Checking the mixture is right at the FoundOcean live Masterflow 9800 demonstration, Livingston
Checking the mixture is right at the FoundOcean live Masterflow 9800 demonstration, Livingston

Luc Westhof, Global Key Account Manager, BASF Construction Chemicals, added: “Demanding offshore challenges have set extremely high requirements for the grout and grouting works in the development of MasterFlow 9800.

“Aligning the excellent properties of the new offshore grout with the operational advantages of FoundOcean’s continuous mixing and pumping equipment will bring major health and safety improvements and installation cost reductions”.

In his presentation, Scottish Energy Minister Ewing welcomed the commitment to innovation and the consequent potential to cut offshore construction costs demonstrated in the partnership between FoundOcean and BASF.

For Renewable UK, Maria McCaffery said that while the wind industry ‘warmly welcomes’ production innovation and technological developments that can reduce costs, this cannot ever be at the cost of compromising on safety standards.

Westhof added: “FoundOcean are at the commercial frontline with clients and end-users. So they were able to come to BASF with details of what the market is looking for to bring down costs. They told us developers and operators need to: –  

  • Reduce on-site grouting time
  • Optimise weather-windows
  • Deliver increased grout durability
  • Reduce dust, eliminate open-top bags and cut out the need for on-deck cranes and lifting gear

MasterFlow 9800 deliver all these benefits – and all through ‘light-weight’ 2-inch – rather than 4-inch – pipes.”

The MasterFlow 9800 grout system uses an upgraded version of FoundOcean’s Recirculating Jet Mixer (RJM). The delivery rates when using an RJM are upwards of 20m&sup3/hr and therefore faster grouting of the annulus can be achieved, saving valuable offshore operating days.

The closed circuit between the cement silo and RJM mixer, along with the continuous mixing process, also minimises overage, as well as reducing dust.

The material offers a number of superior properties, including excellent early strength development, even at cold temperatures, and high fatigue resistance. When combined with its operational advantages, these properties have the potential to provide significant cost optimisation for the foundation installation, whilst ensuring the durability of the grouted

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