Leading global marine operations specialists TSG Marine have come together with North East engineering and lifting experts JK Lifting Equipment for the first time, to collaborate on a unique project for Gulf Marine Services at Port of Blyth.

The project saw the two firms partner to deliver testing and maintenance work aboard Gulf Marine Services’ jack-up vessel, GMS Endeavour. The E-Class self-propelled, self-elevating ship supports offshore wind turbine installation and maintenance. The 5,000 tonne vessel was berthed at Port of Blyth for its 5-year survey, which included a full maintenance check, involving the testing of the ship’s two cranes.

TSG Marine Senior Project Manager Karl Chipp joined forces with JK Lifting Managing Director James Bright to plan and manage the testing of the cranes, capable of lifting significant loads at sea.

The feat was achieved through suspending three 110-ton water weights from the ships Huisman crane. These were gradually filled with water over 24 hours, reaching a total weight of 253 tonnes – the equivalent of two blue whales or 20 cruise ship anchors. The crane test created a rare and stunning spectacle above the water at Quay 4, Battle Ship Wharf at the Port of Blyth. The team also tested the ship’s Pellegrine crane which has a 15 tonne safe working load.

The collaboration was a natural fit for the two companies, which share similar values in terms of solving complex engineering problems in the offshore wind and marine sectors, through engineering innovation. The duo work alongside customers to understand their needs, helping to identify solutions to often multifaceted challenges. A key focus for both is ensuring effective vessel safety through sharing in-depth industry knowledge, technical skill and cutting-edge technology.

Once the survey and maintenance were complete, the GMS Endeavour was deployed to the Moray East offshore wind farm site to support the commissioning of the project’s offshore transformer platforms.

TSG Marine specialise in Marine Operations, working mainly with the offshore industry to manage marine access, vessel mobilisation and bespoke marine engineering projects.

TSG Marine Senior Project Manager, Karl Chipp said: “The team at JK Lifting have a fantastic work ethic which mirrors the way we operate. Their on-hand approach and attention to detail meant that our ABS survey was deemed one of the best load tests in terms of planning, safety and execution.”

JK Lifting Equipment have nearly 40 years of lifting expertise and in the past year has seen exponential growth in the marine, offshore and energy sectors. Sited on the banks of the River Tyne, the firm, based at Walker Road, Newcastle, is recognised for its engineering excellence, innovative solutions and collaborative working relationships.

James Bright, managing director at JK Lifting, said: “This is the first time we have worked with the team at TSG Marine and the crane test was incredibly technical due to the size of the load it had to bear.

“Working with the team at TSG Marine, it was clear they share a similar approach to ourselves in terms of delivering excellence and added-value for customers at every step, through in-depth industry knowledge, technical skill and cutting-edge innovation.

They were a pleasure to work with and because of our shared partnership approach and detailed planning, the project ran smoothly and to deadline. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership.”

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive at Port of Blyth, said: “This collaboration between fellow clients of the port is a perfect example of the offshore energy support base model that we’ve built in Blyth in operation. A mature supply chain supporting the needs of an operator within budget and on time is exactly the type of project we are delighted to offer support for and we look forward to working with all three companies again in the future.”

The North East of England is a growing UK hub for the global marine, offshore, renewable and oil and gas sectors. It’s strategic importance beside the North Sea and the vast experience, knowledge and network of specialist companies able to support the sector mean the region is attracting growing levels of investment.