Innovative Efficiencies in Offshore Drill Rig Maintenance


The Stena Spey is a self-propelled, semi-submersible, offshore drilling rig based in Aberdeen and working extensively in the harsh North Sea and as with all offshore assets, requires constant maintenance to prevent corrosion. The Hughes Pumps Ultrabar 10 has been built into an innovative water jetting unit that is being used to strip corrosion and failed coatings from the rig structure using plain water.

This setup is likely the most compact UHP pump set on the market. It operates with minimal water consumption and is non abrasive making this water jetter ideal for offshore maintenance. The Hughes Pumps system comprises; Ultrabar 10 EC UHP water jetting unit with a performance of 8.3 lpm at 2500 bar, 45 kW (60 hp) electric motor and starter panel for use in a safe area, crash-frame mounted, 1.8 m long x 1.0 m wide x 1.5 m high x 1100 kg.

The Hughes Pumps water-jetting system was supplied with a clever innovation. A simple dump gun with a new design of self-rotating surface preparation nozzle, especially suitable for the very low flow-rate required, was for the first time, supplied with the smallest Ultrabar 10 pump. This innovation has resulted in a significant simplification of the unit, eliminating the need for on-site compressed air and a reduction in routine UHP accessory maintenance.

The innovation is quite a development because, until recently, complicated, maintenance intensive, compressed air driven rotary guns and UHP dump valves had been the only option in this type of application.

As part of the support package, six Stena Spey operators underwent Water Jetting Association (WJA) accredited safety training at Hughes Pumps’ UK factory, designed to give them knowledge of the safe way in which to use the Hughes' equipment.

Kerrick are the sole agents for Hughes Pumps in New Zealand. For more information on high pressure and ultra high pressure pumping systems call Kerrick on 0800 253 774.

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