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3sun Group Installs Inaugural Time Delay Block Valve

3sun Group’s subsea division has installed its first Time Delay Block Valve (TDBV) for use on hydrocarbon producing wells.

The exclusive valve was designed and manufactured by Bifold Group, specialists in hydraulic and pneumatic stainless steel directional control valves and accessories for hazardous, corrosive and subsea environments, in accordance with a Qualification Specification approved by 3sun Group. The prototype TDBV was installed in June 2015 on a North Sea Platform and has since been operating at excellent capacity.  

Graham Hacon, CEO, explained: “Hydrocarbon producing wells have a Down Hole Safety Valve (DHSV or SCSSV – Surface Controlled Sub Sea Safety Valve) which shuts the well quickly when required, and is usually controlled hydraulically from the surface. Due to the large amount of solid debris (mainly sand) carried in the recovered hydrocarbons, contamination damage commonly occurs to the DHSV, causing leakage into the hydraulic control line. This can result in escaping gases which are toxic to the surrounding workforce with high risk fire/explosion potential.

“TDBV allows absolute control of the DHSV. By blocking the hydraulic control line, it prevents migration of gaseous and fluid hydrocarbons into working areas, which in general are not hazardous area classified for such ingress – until the DHSV is to be reopened to resume recovery of hydrocarbons, at which point the time-delayed blocking valve reopens to allow hydraulic communication. The TDBV is the only valve type suitable for this requirement, for which the valve concept was designed.”

Since its inception in 2007, 3sun Group has grown rapidly to now employ over 350 people across six divisions, and has earned a global reputation for resolving some of the key energy engineering challenges facing the energy sector.  Its recent acquisition of AID Industrial, specialist PPE provider and expert in Industrial Rope Access, Work at Height and Global Wind Organisation safety courses, marked a successful first quarter of the year for the Group. This follows major contract wins, a Top 20 position on The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table and a £10million investment from the Business Growth Fund last year.