• News
  • Press Releases
  • Wind

Bardex’s Off Vessel Tensioning BarLatchTM Mooring System Wins the 39th Annual Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award

HOUSTON, May 21, 2024 – Bardex, a global leader in products and systems for marine-based heavy lifting, transfer, and restraint is thrilled to be this year’s recipient of the Woelfel BMEA award for its Off Vessel Tensioning (OVT) BarLatchTM mooring system. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) confers the prestigious award to recognize a product, device, or system that best reflects innovation in mechanical engineering to solve problems, improve design, or maximize performance in the oil and gas industry. The Bardex technology was selected from among five finalists at the Offshore Technology Conference this month in Houston.

Bardex designed the OVT method to work with its patented BarLatchTM Fairlead Stopper technology. The product was developed as a result of working with a client that wanted to alleviate a long-term industry concern with IPB (in-plane bending) and OPB (out-of-plane bending) fatigue and chain wear at the conventional 7 pocket underwater fairlead. In conjunction, the client wanted to eliminate deck tensioning equipment. The BarLatchTM Fairlead Stopper solution for Off Vessel Tensioning (OVT) of mooring lines uses an Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) or similar vessel to apply the tension resulting in multiple benefits.

The OVT method:

  • Makes platforms storm-safe significantly faster
  • Frees up deck space and reduces topside weight anywhere from 600 to 1,000 metric tons by eliminating the equipment needed for chain tensioning and handling
  • Space and weight savings allow for the addition of revenue-producing processing equipment or the use of vessels with smaller hulls, which reduces upfront vessel expenditure


The OVT and BarLatch system can be used in any region of the world and is approved by major certifying bodies, including the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), and Det Noske Veritas (DNV).

Although the Woelfel BMEA award recognizes mechanical engineering innovations that serve the oil and gas industry, Bardex’s OVT method is also applicable to the offshore wind industry.

“Our job at Bardex is to work with the client to innovate the best solution to their unique challenge. In this case, it became an answer to an issue that many others experienced. We are honored that the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has acknowledged our design which is helping to maximize performance in the oil and gas industry.” – Nick Atallah, Director of Product Development

For more information about Bardex’s Off Vessel Tensioning, visit https://www.bardex.com/applications/mooring-tensioning/off-vessel-tensioning-oil-gas/.

About Bardex: Bardex provides novel engineering insights and designs, prototypes, and manufactures proprietary equipment to solve the marine industry’s heaviest challenges. For over 60 years – and 300+ projects for shipyards, oil and gas companies, and the burgeoning offshore wind industry, the Bardex mindset has always been to be a trusted, collaborative partner whose first step in any project is to understand exactly what the client needs to accomplish. That approach has produced more than 20 patents, many repeat clients, and countless innovations that make the seemingly impossible possible, while improving safety, efficiency, and profitability for a diverse range of applications. Bardex facilities are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 certified.