Back in the 1980s, a captain decided he wanted a more reliable, safe and precise line thrower opposed to the gunpowder rockets that were prevalent at the time.
The result was the Pneumatic Line Thrower (PLT), developed by Restech Norway, a firm based within the Arctic Circle. This invention has proved incredibly popular ever since and now new products are in the offing.
Roger Kristensen, the firm’s ceo, admits today’s market is tricky.
“In these times with low activity in the oil and gas sectors, we have to think of other ways to stay afloat in the market,” he says. Rather than just focusing on offshore Restech is increasingly looking to tap into the maritime markets, hence its decision to exhibit at March’s Asia Pacific Maritime in Singapore.
“The goal is to make our product portfolio stronger and competitive in other market segments,” Kristensen says.
Kristensen cites gas tankers as an obvious market for his products.
“It is clear, in the event of a potential leak, that using the standard pyrotechnical line throwers in this situation would pose a life-threatening situation. It is ironic that you will find on all tankers bridge a NO SMOKING sign, but right behind it, you will find pyrotechnical rockets,” he relates.
His kit is also useful when conducting STS operations. “Strongly influenced by the weather and sea condition, the challenge is to establish a connection. The PLT increases the ability to establish that connection, much earlier and at a distance of 70-140 meters,” Kristensen explains.
The PLT does not have an expiry date as pyrotechnical rockets do.