Media - Featured Articles

Rope access company uses innovation on INVISTA stack project

MHT Access Services Inc. (MHT), based in Houston, provides innovative solutions for industrial inspection, maintenance and repair. To create added value and synergy among these distinct services, MHT utilizes its own multiskilled rope access teams. This value-added approach positions MHT as a leader among service providers.

Multiskilled rope access teams came into play when MHT recently worked on one of INVISTA’s stacks in Orange, Texas. The 175-foot-tall concrete stack did not have any anchor points for MHT’s rope access technicians to use, so the company had to design and fabricate an anchor-point structure.

MHT sent design drawings to an engineering firm that created the fabrication drawings. Then, using these completed drawings, a fabrication shop built the anchor platform, and it was shipped to INVISTA’s site before the job started. When the project was underway, MHT only needed two cranes for two days: one day to land the anchor platform on top of the stack and one day to remove the anchor platform.

After the anchor platform was in place, MHT’s technicians could use it to repel down the stack. INVISTA needed MHT’s technicians to abate and remove a pre-existing leadbased coating from the stack. To accomplish this, the technicians used a lead-abatement tool that captured all the paint removed in a high-efficiency particulate air vacuum. MHT’s rope access technicians also performed an inspection on the stack and had to repair one crack in the concrete. Then, MHT recoated the top section of the stack, and it will recoat the bottom at a later date. The company completed the project with a team of eight in 13 working days at 12 hours per day. There were no safety incidents whatsoever.

MHT’s innovative work method has proven effective for certain applications usually involving traditional scaffolding. MHT’s value-added approach has established the company as a leader among on and offshore service providers. “MHT completed this project way under the cost of erecting scaffold,” said Howard Wall, president of MHT. “More importantly, the anchor platform we brought on this project is reusable. It’ll be used on three other stacks for INVISTA.”

MHT also places great importance on the training and certification of its personnel, and all its personnel on the INIVSTA project underwent formal training and were certified by outside authorities in accordance with the performance standards defined by the certification or licensing authorities. When these professionally trained and experienced workers labored on the project, they approached each step with an advanced knowledge and skillset that are unparalleled. MHT personnel — including inspectors, pipe support specialists, welders, electricians, insulators, and coating and asbestos abatement specialists — also receive formal training and certifications in their specialized disciplines.

“MHT experts take pride in efficiently handling each stage of the most challenging work scopes,” Wall said. “The key to a successful project lies in the deployment and use of a skilled project team with appropriate experience. MHT teams are run and managed by experienced professionals.”

MHT is recognized by operations and maintenance managers of both onshore and offshore facilities as the “easy button value-added” service provider. Its exact approach eases budgeting pains and reduces the production and safety concerns that facility managers and engineers encounter when faced with urgent mechanical integrity issues.

Other MHT customers include Dynegy Energy, NRG Energy, Westar Energy, PPL, AES Corp., Kansas City Power and Light Co., BASF, Cornerstone Chemical, Cleco, MidAmerican Energy, Arizona Public Service, Omaha Public Power District, Arena Energy and Covanta Energy.

For more information, visit or call (713) 460-4001.