Autumn 2015

Digging deep

Recent acquisitions make JFSE a world leader in subsea mass flow excavation.

The launch of James Fisher Subsea Excavation (JFSE) means that the James Fisher group has been propelled into the position of world leader in mass flow excavation (MFE) and is the only dedicated provider worldwide. In addition to this, the recent acquisition of assets from X-Subsea has increased the group's offshore capability five-fold.

Kenneth Mackie, managing director of JFSE says the new company brings together not only the world's largest subsea excavation tooling capability, but also a team steeped in industry knowledge and established client relationships.

"This has opened up new opportunities and enables us to bid for new scopes of work worldwide - such as decommissioning work which we haven't been able to consider before,"

he says.

The launch of JFSE has prompted a significant uplift in interest from the market. Team size has grown from 12 to over 40 and although five projects were successfully completed last year over 20 projects were completed by half way through this year, with more already underway.

The asset acquisition means the new company is 'tooled-up'. In addition to the mass flow excavator tools (which use water under pressure to safely excavate sensitive under-water areas), the engineers now have access to jetting tools which break up hard soil for the MFE equipment to wash out.

JFSE is reaping the benefits of the huge pool of experience in its newly merged teams. Kenneth says,

'Bringing in key personnel from REEF and X-Subsea, means we now boast unrivalled expertise and experience in this field.'

Key players include operations director, Graham Murdoch, Richard Beattie who heads up the Singapore office, Faisel Chaudry, Middle East and North Africa manager, and operations manager, Andrew Scott, based at the Aberdeen office from where all on-going operations are controlled.

Recent projects have included working with Fendercare on cable deburial and trenching for Prysmian, and seabed preparation in Mexico for Jan de Nul.

Mass flow excavation made (kind of) simple: 

Mass flow excavators work by producing a large volume column of sea water which can be directed down at specific areas of the seabed. Mass flow excavation can swiftly shift sand and debris, high pressure jets can be added to remove harder soils and blow any chunks of clay away from the site. This form of 'non-contact' excavation is a safer and potentially less damaging process than underwater diggers, ploughs and jet sleds, thereby protecting subsea assets (pipelines or cabling for instance) during operations.

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