04 April 2013
Barrier Ltd, which is part of the Barrier Group, has completed a significant new investment to support the transference of skills and technology into the offshore wind sector.
The Wallsend-based company has expanded its Coatings Division to be able to deliver neoprene coatings and rubber clamps for offshore wind towers.
As part of a six-figure investment, Barrier has introduced a 14 metre x 3 metre vulcanising vessel, which enables the process of applying rubber to external Risers and J-Tubes, which are fitted to collector platform jackets and larger deep water wind turbines.
The steam-driven vessel generates considerable amounts of high-pressure steam that spreads and bonds the rubber to risers and J-Tubes. The vulcanised rubber protects the components from corrosion and provides abrasion protection.
In addition, Barrier also has the capability to apply ribbed rubber to the internal parts of clamps, which are welded onto jackets or wind turbines to hold the J-Tubes and Risers in place.
The corrosion protection process using vulcanised rubber is already used in the oil & gas market, particularly in the Norwegian market. However, Barrier has diversified the process to meet the requirements of the offshore wind sector, which has included up-skilling a team of fifteen of its engineers.
Barrier Group was formed in 1975 to carry out painting of structures to be installed as part of the growing North Sea oil industry. The company has gone on to complete more than 200 major contracts, totalling millions of square metres of surface protection and has worked for most of the world’s major oil companies.
More recently the company has expanded its operations beyond the oil sector and the group now carries out passive fire protection, metal spraying, powder coating and sub-sea insulation across the aerospace, marine and offshore renewable energy sectors.
Paul Harriman, Managing Director of Barrier Ltd, said: “While this is a relatively new market for us, the principles of delivering high quality engineering solutions are the same as we have been applying for nearly 40 years. The ability to diversify our products and services is essential as energy generation opportunities emerge and grow.
“The offshore wind sector has seen a lot of transference in its supply chain from the oil & gas sector. This has been due to the technical expertise and extensive experience of companies like Barrier, which have a proven track record of successfully meeting the requirements of contractors and operators.”
He added: “We are very pleased with the investment we have made as it will open up new opportunities for the business and help establish a position in the offshore renewables supply chain.”