Techano – Advanced load handling and state-of-the-art lifting equipment

Techano AS is an innovative engineering company specialised in advanced load handling and state-of-the-art lifting equipment. The company provides solutions for the offshore, marine, fishery and renewable industries.

Established in the offshore and maritime technology cluster in Kristiansand, Norway, in 2008, the company consists of engineers within all main disciplines, with extensive sector experience. Techano offers all services from design and structural calculations to project management, production, installation and service. Since the end of 2017, Techano has been part of the Dutch Van Aalst Group, now the major shareholder with 50.1 percent whilst the remaining is still owned locally by key employees.

From oil and gas to aquaculture and offshore wind

Techano has extensive experience in delivering load handling and lifting equipment to the oil and gas industry, but has recently entered emerging markets like offshore aquaculture and offshore wind. The key to success has been to transfer and customise their technologies to new markets. “We bring our high level of expertise from the petroleum industry into these new industries, making them both safer and more efficient”, Øystein Bondevik, Commercial Director at Techano, explains.

Designed equipment for the world´s first semi-submersible offshore fish farm

Nordlaks
                                                                                           © Nordlaks

In 2018, Techano secured a contract to design and produce equipment for the floating aquaculture ‘Havfarmen’, located in Nordland County in northern Norway. Havfarmen is owned and operated by the Norwegian aquaculture company Nordlaks, and is designed for exposed water in harsh weather conditions. The aim is to exploit previously unused areas for aquaculture. A contract was entered with the CIMC Raffles yard in Yantai in the Chinese Shandong Province, to construct the fish farm, which was then transported to Norway this summer by the world's largest Heavy Transportation Vessel, Boka Vanguard. The structure measures 385 metres in length and 60 meters in width, and is the largest cargo ever transported by a vessel

Techano has supplied 2 Rail Mounted Service Units (RMSU), each equipped with several cranes and winches, an offshore crane at stern and a fish hose connection system. The RMSU’s are mounted on the rail on each side of the construction. The cranes have an outreach of 25 metres, which makes it possible to reach the full width of the six fish pens. It also contains a man basket, allowing operators to reach all parts of the pens. In addition, the RMSU allows for ROV support and control.

RMSU Tecahno Bondevik explains that the RMSU is a unique and a bespoke design for Havfarm, enabling the farm operators to take care of aquaculture equipment and the fish in a safe and efficient manner. Moreover, a smaller environmental footprint is achieved by moving the fish farms out of the Norwegian fjords. It also provides better area utilisation of Norwegian waters.

Participation in the Havfarmen project gave Techano a foothold in the aquaculture industry, which has since become their main market. Bondevik underlines that Havfarmen is a perfect example of technology transfer from the oil and gas industry to aquaculture. The company can offer a complete range of load handling equipment on board offshore fish farms, service vessels, trawlers and live fish carriers, and all products can be delivered with modern and informative control interfaces.

Another project is the Aker designed semi-submersible fish farm for Norway Royal Salmon. Techano has supplied highly specialised equipment for the Arctic Offshore Farm, including winches for net handling, hydraulic chain jacks and a tiltable slipway for the fish food barge. The net handling winches and chain jacks are delivered with control systems that enable simultaneous operation of all winches and jacks. The winches, which can hold a capacity of 6 tonnes, will be used for hoisting and lowering of the fish nets. The chain jacks, each with holding capacity of 100 tonnes, will be used for maintenance of the bottom ring. All this equipment is designed as mobile units, serving both pens and to be removed while the farm remains submerged.

The slipway is designed for harsh North Sea conditions and has a unique wave dampening system. The slipway can also lift the boat out of water and into a horizontal position.

Motion-compensated gangways 

Techano also offers the renewable market with a wide range of products for offshore windmills, SOV vessels and offshore vessels. Together with the sister company Safeway, also part of the Van Aalst Group, Techano can offer complete packages of offshore cranes, motion compensated gangways and cranes, winches and general load handling equipment.

The motion compensated gangway system makes it possible for vessels to land at a broad range of offshore constructions, including offshore windmills. The Safeway technology is based on a unique roll cylinder, enabling the system to keep the mast in a vertical position at all times. Tests and calculations show that Safeway should offer workability with offshore support vessels working at wave heights of up to 3.5 meters. The gangway improves the safety level for offshore workers and allows for efficient crew transfers as well as the cargo transfers. Safeway also reduces operational costs and makes the offshore industry less weather dependent. 

Safeway
                                                                                                              © Safeway

Techano is also looking into transferring their technologies to seabed mining, which could lead to an increased supply of important minerals needed for renewable energy technologies and smartphones.

Bondevik adds that another key to Techano´s success has been collaboration with other companies. They are also conscious about using local suppliers and subcontractors. “Producing everything in-house makes you vulnerable in a market that is constantly changing, and being flexible is especially important when operating in several industries. We therefore believe in collaborating closely with others because this gives us access to the best available technology at all times, and guarantees the highest quality products”.

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By Anna Lygre Solvang