Rotrex Winches has been awarded a prestigious contract to supply winching equipment and on-site technical assistance for installation of a production separator on the Alba B2 platform, located offshore of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa.

The project required the production separator to be transported to the platform by vessel and then installed on the cellar deck situated below the main deck. It was critical that there was no going back once the lifting operation commenced.

To compensate for sea state and heave, the production separator was secured to the vessel with collapsible sea fastenings. As soon as the production separator was lifted then the sea fastenings collapsed to enable clearance between it and the vessel deck. At this point it was paramount that the winching equipment did not fail because the production separator could not be put back onto the vessel deck due to the collapsed sea fastenings.

To ensure safe and smooth operation the whole winching system was rigorously tested and checked prior to the actual production separator lift. Rotrex Winches supplied all the necessary water weights and rigging equipment to ensure smooth operation.

The production separator, weighing in excess of 80t, was lifted from the vessel using a Rotrex AN52 hydraulic winch installed on an inclined base frame that was then used in multi-reeve set up via sheave blocks suspended from a custom built over-boarding A-frame. Actual winch line pull was monitored at all times by Rotrex Winches personnel via a calibrated Rotrex in-line load monitor mounted directly onto the winch wire rope.

Phase two was then put in operation and the production separator was pulled into position on the cellar deck using a Rotrex ZW17 hydraulic winch, also located on the cellar deck, with the assistance of two Rotrex 50t air-operated hoists that were suspended from the over-boarding A-frame.

The whole operation went to plan and was a huge success. The production separator is now in operation processing contaminants from the oil flow.

Rotrex Winches’ fleet of base mounted winches extends from 600kg pulling capacity up to 200t. They are used for many diverse applications, including offshore work such as riser pull-ins, BoP installations, barge mooring, flare tip replacement, platform and FPSO lifting. Whether driven by diesel hydraulic or electric hydraulic power packs, Rotrex Winches can supply the appropriate winches, power packs, wire ropes and such ancillary equipment as sheave blocks, fairleads, in-line load monitors and many other items to provide the complete winch system package.

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Need a winch or want to learn how to operate it safely? Get in touch with us via our web contact form, or by emailing us at

Alternatively, you can call us on 01773 603997. Our dedicated team are ready to assist you with any enquiries you may have, and get the ball rolling for your project.