Article originally published at www.energynewsbulletin.net
Swivelpole has a long history with Woodside Petroleum working on the North West Shelf, and its ST18 with custom heat shield can be seen on Shell’s Prelude vessel’s Turret.
That work, which was done with SBM Offshore, took into account Prelude’s safety and longevity given its location in a high wind-speed region.
Swivelpole also did work with BP for the Angelin gas project offshore Trinidad and Tobago; with ExxonMobil at the US oiler’s Victorian gas plant that is fed from the Bass Strait; and BHP Billiton in the Gulf of Mexico.
Swivelpole is effectively a fixture mounting and lowering system, incorporating the 45-degree clutch-style safe swivel joint which allows independent, efficient controlled lowering and raising of a pole and the mounted fixture to a safe working height.
This enables fixtures like light fixtures, alarms, antennas, cameras and sirens to be easily installed, serviced and maintained.
With a track record of providing solutions both locally and exporting them to both the US and Canada — particularly in difficult, high clash or extreme conditions — Swivelpole executive general manager Andrew Tolj said the company saw a “really big opportunity” upgrading equipment on recent LNG new-builds as operators seek to boost productivity and efficiency.
“With the upgrade to LED [lighting], when you bring a pole down you can convert a pole and do your upgrade at the same time, which allows the larger facilities to have a phased approach to their rollout of upgrade,” he told Energy News.
“They’re also looking at other equipment around wi-fi and the Internet of Things, not just lighting. That’s the future of where it’s heading.”
“While the principle of our product was for lighting, the need to access fixtures is universal, be it in wi-fi or digital technology; and the principles of safety, productivity and return on investment to do that, particularly as things have got tighter financially for operators [in a lower-for-longer oil price environment].”
Swivelpole’s innovation and history with larger projects means it has been able to grow its solutions.
“This includes the full lowering pole solution we design and manufacture, and can convert existing solutions to a lowering pole solution; or in recent times where you can now build your own lowering pole solution,” Tolj said.
“So we’ve evolved from being the complete lowering pole solutions provider; and what we’ve learned from working with global companies is they have particular needs, so it’s about tailoring designs to fit their criteria, which can be quite complex.”
Rob Pannekoek, who founded Swivelpole in 1999, worked in the field installing fixtures and making it safe for one person to operate, and productive for the operator to get return on investment for the cost of installation and replacement, which is now the firm’s core principle in developing the technology.
While Swivelpole has done work in the Middle East, it is engaged in Asia and Africa, the company also has enquiries coming in from Australia for the product to be used in other markets.
“We’re also investing in research and development, developing new products to bring to market, with an eye to going beyond the traditional industrial markets to commercial and domestic,” he said.