SBSS purchased a new plough for subsea cable installation

January 2017: S.B. Submarine Systems Co., Ltd. (SBSS) have signed a contract with Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) for purchasing the latest generation submarine telecom cable MD3XT plough. The complete SMD plough system will come equipped with an optical umbilical and purpose-designed SMD manufactured umbilical winch. This will be supplied together with the control and power cabins to provide a complete turnkey solution. 

Tom Qiu, Fleet Operations Director of SBSS, explained: “SBSS have identified the MD3XT Plough as providing the leading solution for our telecom cable installation requirements. The 3.3 metre burial capability up to 1500 metre water depth, the ability to interchange plough shares at sea, and the edge nozzles on the front of the main share to combine the jetting and cutting process all ensure SBSS continue to offer class-leading equipment to our customers in Asia. Having used the SMD Plough system for the past 16 years to bury over 15,000km of cable, SBSS have the utmost confidence in the technology and we look forward to receiving the new MD3XT Plough and providing our valuable clients with the region’s most advanced and efficient installation solutions.”

The MD3XT is the latest of its kind, and whilst retaining all of the well-proven features of the original machine, it has a number of innovations to improve performance and reliability. Designed for strength and endurance, while remaining light in weight, it has the ability to trench progressively deeper from 1.1 metres to 3.3 metres at a tow force up to a constant maximum of 80 tonnes. The MD3XT has a number of innovations to improve performance and reliability, these include 720hp (530kW) of jetting on the plough available in all water depths up to 5000ft (1500m), a standard and extended share boot to optimise performance and simplified telecom cable loading. 

“We are delighted to win this award and use the knowledge and feedback of clients like SBSS to improve our products,” said Paul Davison, Managing Director of SMD trenching, mining and renewables. “Improving our products is key to unlocking value for our clients. We expect this MD3XT will increase performance rates by a factor of up to 4 and that is due to innovations in plough and umbilical technology which differentiate this product in the market. The activity and growth in the submarine telecoms market signals a promising 2017 for SMD.”

Along with the MD3XT the plough will be supplied with a bespoke designed umbilical winch to provide a compact, reliable and robust umbilical handling solution. The system fully supports the MD3XT plough and is able to be integrated with the existing vessel A-Frame and fit within the available deck space. SMD has more than 20 years of experience providing launch solutions for use with both SMD and third party subsea vehicles.

SMD have produced more than 70 cable ploughs and these have successfully buried well over 100,000 kilometres of telecoms cable, this is the vast majority of telecom cable buried around the globe today. In so doing they have drastically reduced cable fault rates, whilst providing safe and highly reliable service to their owners. 

The plough will be delivered at the end November 2017and then mobilised onto the “CS FU HAI”.


About SBSS:

S.B. Submarine Systems Co., Ltd. (SBSS) is China’s leading provider of subsea cable installation services and one of the key submarine cable installers in Asia. Established in Shanghai in 1995 as a joint venture between China Comservice and Global Marine Systems Ltd of the UK, SBSS are a technology-driven marine installation company who own and operate a fleet of advanced, versatile and fully integrated cable ships.


About SMD:

SMD is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of remote intervention equipment, working in hazardous environments worldwide. The product portfolio includes the world’s largest range of subsea remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)