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Cape Environmental Services awarded 5-year contract for on-line vessel and pipework cleaning

Cape Environmental Services awarded 5-year contract for on-line vessel and pipework cleaning

Online vessel cleaning

At Cape Environmental Services Offshore, online sand removal technology is enabling operating companies to continue production by removing sand from the separation process without the need for platform shutdowns.

When oil or gas is produced from relatively weak reservoir rocks, small particles and sand grains are displaced and enter the fluid flow. Up to several tonnes of sand per day can accumulate in production separator vessels and production process pipelines. This sand can damage valves, pipelines, pumps and separator vessels and reduce the capacity of the separator to process oil, gas and water.

Traditionally, to restore production, wells are shut-in to allow the separation vessels to be opened and the sand manually removed; a costly and time-consuming process. Cape’s drive to provide innovative, value-driven solutions for our customers led to the development of pioneering technology that can remove sand while a customer’s production facility remains online, which:

  • Avoids costly and time-consuming shutdowns
  • Eliminates risks associated with man-entry vessel cleaning
  • Allows uninterrupted production of revenue-generating hydrocarbons

Cape ESO Online Vessel Sand Removal Syphonvac System

Syphonvac is configured from two systems: a high flow vacuum; and a low-pressure water jetting system. These connect to the vessel discharge point via a common manifold. This allows water to be injected into the vessel via a low-pressure jetting hose, to fluidise formation sand, while allowing the sand to discharge from the vessel under its own pressure. The Cape offshore-certified units are modular and compact, taking up a minimal deck footprint.

The material flowing into the Syphonvac is dispensed into an airflow created by Cape’s Sludgevac airflow system, which in turn is deposited into collection skips for onward disposal either onshore, or via a platform-based sand cleaning system, such as the Cape Equinox system.


See how Syphonvac works here

In 40 years of operation Cape has developed a reputation for pioneering and integrating a wide range of safe, environmentally sound industrial cleaning techniques. Our highly-skilled employees have successfully deployed this technology for many major North Sea operators and in July, Cape Specialist Services announced a five-year contract award for the provision of online vessel and pipework cleaning with Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd. covering all Maersk Oil UKCS offshore installations.

Our industrial cleaning service offering includes high pressure water jetting, high airflow vacuum services and chemical decontamination processes, which we complement with extensive integrated waste management services and on-site waste handling and minimisation capabilities. We provide these services to a wide range of customers principally in the oil and gas, petrochemical, heavy industry, manufacturing and pharmaceutical markets.

Find out more about how Cape helps keep its customers assets operational and safe at
To speak to somebody about these processes, get in touch with


Cape Environmental Services awarded 5-year contract for on-line vessel and pipework cleaning.pdf

Case Study

ADGAS Das Island LNG live line insulation project

ADGAS Das Island LNG live line insulation project

2015 On-going

Client: ADGAS
Location: UAE

Project description

ADGAS operate a gas liquefaction plant on Das Island, which consists of three trains that process an average of 8 million tons of associated and non-associated gases per year. The ADGAS gas liquefaction plant is unique in its ability to process both associated and non-associated gases produced during oil production.

The challenge

To carry out live line working for insulation replacement, blasting and painting and PFP application within a congested live site environment, targeting zero incidents and focusing on optimum productivity. Live line working significantly enhances efficiency by avoiding the need for costly turnaround windows.

Our solution

Cape developed a unique ‘Cape cryogenic live line insulation system’ to ensure that the customer’s challenges are met. These were developed by Cape Technical Authorities and local senior personnel. A series of presentations and coaching events were held to communicate best practice and lessons learnt to the workforce. These provided efficient and compliant method statements for ensuring that the works meet the demanding specifications for newly applied coatings, PFP and insulation. The process enables a targeted approach to corrosion repairs and hence greatly optimises efficiency.

The key Cape process involves the use of a combination of pre-formed PIR sections and poured PUF insulation materials, incorporating a dual layered vapour barrier. This system ensures that the majority of the insulation/painting and PFP work could be undertaken safely in live line conditions.

Additional efficiencies were then delivered by focusing on productivity while working within the live environment.

A series of alternative insulation materials were also researched and adopted into the contract, including; 

  • Cape Cryogel 
  • Cape CAPIR 
  • CAPUR MB50 (moulded PUF injection system) 
  • Proprietary vapour barrier systems 

Key outcomes 

  • Reductions in heat gain and consequent ‘boil-off’ 
  • Prevention of icing and dripping water 
  • Use of thermal imaging and targeting areas of most likely corrosion 
  • Specific design for each operating requirement 
  • Reduction in specialist coatings 
  • In-house manufacture 
  • 100% achievement of programmed work – norms for future work developed and targets agreed.
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Case Study

SABIC productivity improvement project UK

SABIC productivity improvement project UK

2018 On-going

Client: SABIC
Location: UK

Cape has a contract with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) for maintaining and developing the Teesside petrochemical plants located at Wilton and North Teesside. 

The challenge

In late 2012, SABIC challenged its contractors to find ways for increasing productivity in the face of worldwide economic pressures. Cape spent three months developing a programme which was then rolled out over a three-year period to produce year-on-year efficiencies. The outline proposal details Cape’s investment in the contract with clear step change deliverables for both the short and medium term. The proposal also introduced on-going measures that demonstrate to stakeholders that the service provision has maintained focus and demonstrable improvement in five key areas:

  • Productivity improvement 
  • Control of overtime spend 
  • Effective Full Time Equivalent (FTE) deployment 
  • Improved asset utilisation 
  • Enhanced supervisor effectiveness 

Cape’s solution

We invested in and delivered massive productivity improvement initiatives through the following benchmarked deliverables:

  • Site-wide benchmarking and productivity drive 
  • Monitoring and limitation of overtime working 
  • FTE analysis and tracking 
  • Managing asset utilisation 
  • Measuring supervisor effectiveness – DILO analysis 
  • Development of incentivised KPI driven commercial model 

By embedding measurement of ‘estimate versus actual’ at PMO level allowed the collection of true productivity performance at the workface. Such measurement, monitoring and dialogue expanded the teams understanding and culture of both enabling and nonvalue activity, allowing the teams to review performance and address areas to improve.

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Case Study

SABIC pipework remediation project UK

SABIC pipework remediation project UK


Client: Sabic
Location: UK

The task

Cape were contracted to provide multi-discipline services in support of the SABIC remediation project, involving pipework and pipe-rack remediation. This included overall planning, procurement and project management, overseeing our core disciplines and other mechanical trades. The project was scoped, estimated, planned and executed by Cape as part of the IMS/MSG alliance project team. Trade support provided was for access, insulation, blasting, coatings, asbestos management and stand- by / fire watch.

The challenge

  • To scope and estimate the entire multi discipline scope of works and manage within a tight budget;
  • To provide innovative working methods to enable works; and
  • To continue throughout inclement weather with minimal plant downtime.

The result - innovation 

  • Use of a sliding HAKI scaffold roofing system to enable weather protection to be placed where operations programme needed it over the pipe rack. This avoided the need to fit a semi-permanent roof spanning the entire structure. This yielded significant savings to the budget and project programme 
  • Introduction of a Live Line Cold Insulation Removal Process. This methodology was introduced to SABIC via Cape Middle East. The process allowed Cape to remove and replace pipe insulation without the need to shut down the plant or the lines, presenting significant savings to the customer in terms of cost and production 
  • Use of Meshtec metal scaffold boards. These are perforated metal boards which allowed spent blast medium to pass through and to be reclaimed at lower levels. This was safer (removing the risk of overloading scaffold from the build-up of spent blast material) and also greatly enhanced productivity

Cape’s success in winning first place in the SABIC Global Contractor SHE awards reflects years of sheer hard work dedication and commitment by Cape and indeed all the Alliance partners in our safety performance and culture among all of those who work on the SABIC UK assets. To say we are delighted with news of these successes is the understatement of the decade!

Mark Williams Site Director, SABIC UK Petrochemical

Case Study

Thistle Platform – Mod 13A decommissioning

Thistle Platform – Mod 13A decommissioning


Client: EnQuest
Location: UK

The project consisted of the removal of six office cabins which comprised of three stories of paired prefabricated cabins clad with Asbestos Durasteel panels on the outside and A.I.B on the inside. The structural steelwork supporting the cabins was severely corroded causing some of the floor beams to fail and the walls to sag. Asbestos sampling also revealed that the contents of the cabins and void spaces in-between contained Asbestos. The area had therefore been quarantined due to safety concerns.

Project outline

  • Cape Rope Access Technicians to remove steel walkways, stairs, and services connected to the cabins to allow access for scaffold erection. 
  • Asbestos trained scaffolders to erect a full weather protection scaffold enclosure around the whole structure with extended lay down area for decontamination units and asbestos waste skip.
  • Construct asbestos enclosure within the enclosed scaffold area complete with modular shower unit, 3 stage air lock, bag-lock, viewing panels, warning signage and barriers. 
  • Install negative pressure units and vacuum cleaners within the work area.
  • Visually inspect the enclosure before carrying out a smoke test, witnessed by an independent representative, to confirm its integrity. 
  • Following the safe removal of the Asbestos and industrial clean of the work area, independent asbestos analyst to carry out a final inspection of the area before air testing and issuing the 4 Stage Certificate of Reoccupation. 
  • Cape Rope Access Technicians then return to cut and remove remaining steelwork not connected with the main accommodation block above and scaffold dismantled. After which the site, along with all documentation, is handed over to the customer.


  • Managing the safety issues regarding accessibility and working at height during asbestos removal, industrial cleaning of the area and the structural integrity of the heavily corroded steelwork. 
  • Compatibility issues regarding the asbestos recovery equipment and the platform power supply.
  • Demanding programme of works due to POB issues and pre-arranged engineering works scheduled straight after completion of the decommissioning.
  • Works were required to be carried out during the extreme winter weather conditions in the waters off the Shetland Isles, UK.

Key achievements

  • Despite the difficult work scope, working conditions and time constraints the project was completed in a controlled and professional manner without any safety or environmental incidents, on time and within budget
  • Low asbestos fibre readings during personal air monitoring confirmed good asbestos removal techniques and that the operatives were adequately protected during the work.
  • Programming of the work and co-ordination between personnel and trades ensured the smooth progression of the removal works. We were able to provide additional labour resource at short notice to keep to schedule.

Mod 13A has been a major HSE issue on the Thistle platform for as long as I have been part of the Thistle team so to finally see the area clear of the six modules and completely free of the asbestos risk is a great achievement by the individuals involved in the project especially as there were no injuries to personnel during the operation. The project did have to overcome some significant hurdles, winds at over 100mph, the main steelwork of the modules being significantly more degraded than expected leading to the requirement of additional supports, all of which were managed in a safe manner.

Michele Eaves Brownfield Project Manager


Cape awarded extension to contract in Australia

Cape awarded extension to contract in Australia

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Cape plc, an international leader in the provision of critical industrial services to the energy and natural resources sectors, is pleased to announce that Woodside has awarded a one year extension to the 50/50 joint venture between Cape and UGL for services on the Karratha Gas Plant Life Extension Program. The extension to this contract will be effective from November 2017.

The initial contract was awarded in October 2015 for a two-year period to provide the detailed planning and execution of access, fire protection application, blasting and painting, cladding and insulation, mechanical, pipe-spool equipment replacement and electrical services.

Located 1,260 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, and covering approximately 200 hectares, the Karratha Gas Plant includes five LNG processing trains, two domestic gas trains, six condensate stabilisation units, three LPG fractionation units as well as storage and loading facilities for LNG, LPG and condensate. The plant has the capacity to produce 12,000 tonnes of domestic gas per day.

Neil Sadler, Regional Managing Director for Cape in Australia, said: "We are delighted to announce the extension of this contract. It demonstrates our ability to deliver these services to this project with our contract partner, UGL."

Cape awarded extension to contract in Australia.pdf

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