As per earlier alerts, BGL has now received, and is reviewing, the technical proposals and quotations for the salvage equipment from specialist vendors.

The quotations are in line with the company’s cost estimations so now it is a case of choosing the best vendor to produce the equipment within the timelines proposed. Certain items have a substantial lead time and BGL will initiate the fabrication program in early January for the equipment to be ready for the 2020 summer salvage season in the North Atlantic.

Although the fabrication of the salvage equipment is relatively straight forward, it is the specifications for the launch and recovery systems that pose the greater challenge as BGL needs to ensure it has the ability to deploy and recover the tooling systems safely in all but the most inoperable of conditions. In addition, BGL is now considering a Modular Handling Tower (MHT) assembly that allows deployments in conditions beyond those in which a vessels crane can safely operate. As part of the MHT system, large pallet like tables support the salvage tooling and  hydraulically ‘skid’ the items into place within the MHT at which point they are deployed through the vessels centrally located moonpool.

Fig 1: Vessel fitted with Modular Handling Tower

The proposed BGL operations set to take place in South East Asia are progressing although slightly behind schedule. This results from the preferred vessel and equipment supplier not having the equipment immediately available which necessitates BGL delaying the surveys until early 2020. The company is utilising the downtime available to conduct further proprietory research on the targets the client has proposed salvaging. The latter are World War 2 and non- British which has meant accessing archives in the Far East. This activity is ongoing and BGL expects to have completed all in-house research and document compilation ahead of the survey phase. On completion of the survey, salvage plans will be drawn up and the recovery phase will start immediately thereafter.

It is now clear there are many wrecks carrying high value cargoes in the Far East region that BGL can target. This will enable BGL to operate all year round as against only working the North Atlantic areas during the summer months.