Transporters use arctic shipping routes to reduce distance between ports, but they must take special steps to combat frigid temperatures.
“Whether carrying goods to the northern reaches of Norway or over to Alaska, shippers need to protect their vessels against icing,” explains Atle Gundersen, Sales and Marketing Director for Roxel Products. “We help make sure they don’t freeze up, even under extreme conditions.”
Roxel Products is a subsidiary of Roxel Group, a diversified Norwegian company that supplies drilling and well products, systems and solutions around the world. It specializes in rig integration, control & automation systems, rig solution turnkey projects, and project management. Its headquarters is in Stavanger, in southwestern Norway.
“We really try to work closely with our customers to come up with intelligent and innovative solutions,” says Atle, who joined the company in 2011. Roxel works with Bureau Veritas as part of this innovation process: “We use them as sparring partners for new projects: they have very competent engineers who help us ensure we get it right the first time.”
One example of this work is Roxel’s winterization facility in Stavanger that tests equipment and procedures that help safeguard rigs and supply vessels against the harsh northern temperatures.
It has partnered with American company Advanced Mat Systems (AMS) to test newly developed de-icing mats called The Arctic Pad, with a heat trace conduit that de-ices escape routes and deck landings on vessels. “We can test everything,” Atle says. “We can simulate snow, sleet and wind. Imagine a rubber mat with a heat trace cable in it. Instead of walking on the deck, you put the mats out, and they’ll never have any ice on it.”
AMS’ heavy-duty heated rubber mat system is certified, but Roxel needed to get certified test procedures, for equipment used in the Arctic to be aligned with the updated International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (known colloquially as the Polar Code). “We contacted Bureau Veritas to ensure our solution met the Polar Code’s new set of guidelines and regulations,” Atle says. “Bureau Veritas helped us devise the testing procedure, which we can then perform for the client. Beyond just consulting on the testing procedure, Bureau Veritas can class and certify the system for us, as well.”
Bureau Veritas also worked with Roxel on another project, certifying that Managed Pressurized Drilling equipment was NORSOK-compliant and offering Independent Review Certification. “Often we have short timelines to work within, and we know Bureau Veritas will be there for us,” Atle says. “When we call, they answer the phone! Their rates are competitive, and with a very large professional network, they have everything under control. There are never any issues.”