More than 3 decades ago, I was involved in a program to control marine growth on offshore oil & gas platforms to increase structural capacity of structures with marginal integrity to withstand extreme storm events. The downturn of the oil & gas industry in the 80’s further fueled the incentive for engineers to innovate and look for cost-cutting measures for projects and operations. The “Ocean-Powered” Marine Growth Preventers (MGPs) was invented to address these pain points.
35 years later, in the era when climate change is dominating all discussions of our future energy landscape, the implementation of MGPs as a Net-Zero solution for platform strengthening and life extension is become more relevant than ever. Designed for a minimum service life on 10 years, the typhoon proof and self-cleaning MGPs operate under continuous actions and movements of ocean surface, which include tidal rise and fall, wave, swell and current energy. To date, more than 36,000 products have been installed on offshore oil and gas installations and marine jetties throughout the world.
This endless and renewable energy from our oceans, which is free for all, is harvested to power the MGPs to remove and prevent marine fouling, shredding both dynamic and hydrodynamic loadings caused by wave forces. Despite the simplicity of this concept, these mechanical devices have to be designed to remove stubborn marine organisms and prevent their regrowth permanently while surviving typhoon/cyclone events, floating ice sheets, etc.
Just in the past one year alone, MGPs have been supplied to more than 30 offshore platforms in Europe, Australia and the Far East. The technology has been adopted as a structural integrity solution as well as cleaning of caissons prior to external robotic inspection by a number of operators. Jetty operators also enjoy the benefits of cleaned piles for ease of inspection and control of MIC, and more than 1,300 MGPs were ordered for jetties in Peninsular Malaysia since the beginning of 2023.
We continue to explore the use of this Net Zero marine growth prevention solution and are in discussion with developers of renewable energy projects including both offshore wind and floating solar farms. What is more appropriate than using a renewable energy solution for production of renewable energy?
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