Unexpected mooring breakouts have always been recognised as the biggest risk during offshore STS operations.  From developing new ways to mitigate the risks to crew at the mooring stations and the hose manifolds, as well as to the environment, uncontrolled breakaways have always been at the forefront of the minds of safety-conscious operators.

In the oil ship-to-ship transfer industry the cargo transfer operations are carried out with no passive or active protection installed. Improvements to the systems have seen the use of Camlock fittings that allow a much quicker manual disconnection, however, the problem remains that in an emergency, quickly disconnecting a hose filled with oil and blanking it for passing back to the other vessel or dropping it in the water, is at times simply not possible.

Drawing upon their decades of industry experience, SafeSTS, working in close co-operation with Gall Thomson, are delighted to launch the Protective Transfer System (PTX).  Utilising the flip-flap marine breakaway coupling technology proven within other Gall Thomson products for over 20 years, the PTX provides rapid, safe and on-demand release within the marine hose transfer system – therefore safeguarding offshore oil tanker transfer operations against emergency scenarios in a way which has previously not been possible.

An ultra-compact system which includes its own HPU and transport and reset skid, the PTX is located directly over the vessel’s manifold drip tray, minimising the risk of spills and providing 100% leak-tight shut-off following closure.

Captain Robert Gilchrist, Marine Director of SafeSTS said: “The PTX is a step-change in the STS transfer market, and this innovation supports our strategy for Vision Zero, whereby the overall system protects itself against critical incident or death as well as to the environment in the event of breakaway.  Safety is not always free, however it does not have to be expensive, and investment needs to continue into ways to reduce incidents and the consequences of incidents in an STS environment”.

Gall Thomson Business Development Director Fred Boufennane commented: “We are delighted to bring the PTX to market in conjunction with SafeSTS.  It is yet another example of the on-going Gall Thomson research and development program, delivering solutions based on the evolution of proven technology, combined with real-world experience.  Working alongside SafeSTS specifically to integrate the PTX into STS operations, has allowed the concept to be proven.  Going forwards, adoption of the PTX allows it to be demonstrated to all relevant stakeholders, from the owners of the cargo and the vessels to the local regulatory authorities that the operator has taken all reasonable steps to ensure the highest level of safety and environmental protection.” Fred concludes.

The PTX is exclusively offered into the offshore STS market by SafeSTS.  For further information on the PTX range contact SafeSTS by email at operations@safests.com or by telephone on +44 (0) 1379 640021.