Grimsby-built smart hoses are bringing technology to oil transfers

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 7 May 2019

A Grimsby manufacturer of hoses for the oil and gas industry has underlined its commitment to costs and environmental concerns as it profiled industry-leading work in smart technology. 

Pyewipe-based Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd, part of Continental AG, told delegates at a technical conference it hosted how they make high-tech hoses which are more durable and robust at the large town facility.

Jacques Berghorst, sales and marketing manager at the Grimsby site, said: “The Tetney Monobuoy, which transfers crude oil from tankers in the Humber to a refinery at Immingham, is the first in the world to use sensors based on technology developed by Dunlop Oil & Marine’s engineers to monitor location and behaviour of the hoses in the water.

“We had developed double carcass hoses in the 1970s as a safeguard against leaks and the newest technology is smart hoses. The future is about getting information about the hoses straight to your work station from a cloud-based portal, telling you how long it will be before the hose needs to be replaced. By knowing when we need to order a new one, we have less down time and that reduces costs.”

Tetney Monobuoy is used to discharge crude oil from a tanker in the Humber Estuary, with Haile Sands Fort in the forefront.  

Dunlop Oil & Marine supplies around 40 per cent of the international market and is recognised as the leader in innovation making submarine hoses, floating hoses, hoses for large reels on vessels and mid-air hoses.

Its 46th annual conference was held at DoubleTree Forest Pines Resort and at The Deep, with more than 100 delegates from 37 countries also visiting the factory on Moody Lane, where Dunlop has operated for 64 years.

Grimsby is the competence centre for the Dunlop range of offshore marine and dock hoses, having full responsibility for design, research and development, production and testing.

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It is also home to the company's pioneering composite LNG transfer hoses, the first flexible large bore hose suitable for operation at temperatures down to -196°C.

Kam Zandiyeh, general manager of Dunlop Oil & Marine, has attended 30 of the conferences and has seen the invitation-only event become a key date for the industry.

He said: “We have operators, suppliers, contractors, research institutes and potential future clients. It has become a forum where they can learn from us and among themselves, learning from best practice to improve the industry.

The hose from Tetney Monobuoy is brought in for service. 

“It’s important that the quality of our product is absolutely right because if the hoses fail they could cause pollution. We have direct responsibility to improve the quality of the product and to offer solutions to contain the oil in the event of a leak.”

Jacques added: “Each hose has to be tailor made, specifically designed and built for the location and the sea conditions allowing for temperature, sun radiation, things that age rubber.

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“A lot of the clients were visiting our factory for the first time. Their activities vary from operating oil terminals to manufacturing buoys. When they do a new installation, they include the hoses and they buy them from us. Our guest speakers outlined their experiences and their challenges. One from Canada told us about very rough sea conditions and another from Houston talked about ship to ship loading. 

“The priorities are environmental concerns and cost. We can’t do anything about the price of oil, but we can help with the cost of the transfer of oil. We can help to extend the lifetime of the hoses. It is an expensive piece of capital equipment and every year you can extend the life you can save on boats and divers.”

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