'HydroPlow' is a lightweight plow vehicle that is designed to be use in tandem with a cable lay support vessel for simultaneous laying and burial operations. The 'HydroPlow' spread includes a custom made heave compensated tow winch system which is designed in such a way so as to operate safely and thriftily in cohesive soil construction with high shear strength and in severe weather conditions.
The vehicle is designed to operate in burial operations on almost all kinds of flexible products including umbilicals, power and telecommunication cables, flowlines and various flexible pipelines. In 2012 the 'HydroPlow' was upgraded in order to allow diverless cable loading and unloading operations. Among the numerous advantages of this upgrade is that the cable loading and unloading can be executed much safer and quicker. Furthermore, the absence of divers allows operations to be carried out at greater depths with minimum downtime.
The 'HydroPlow' is operated in similar way to other soft soil trenchers. As with AssoPlow MK II, high volumes of water are being supplied by powerful water pumps onboard the vessel. Pressurized water is being transferred through dedicated hoses into the cutting tool; a 2m/3m stinger equipped with specially positioned nozzles, which “cut” through the underlying material. The benefit of this configuration is the continuous erosion of the soil constitution which results in low tow forces and increase in burial performance.