Damen Shipyards Group has teamed up with the global leader in motion compensation access solutions, Ampelmann, to conduct tests with Ampelmann’s L-Type system on board a Damen Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 5009. Damen is developing its marine access solutions in order to guarantee increased safety, reduced costs and efficiency in the global crew transfer market. As part of this mission, Damen has recently increased its cooperation with a number of access suppliers. On this occasion, the process has resulted in a live demonstration of a combined Ampelmann and Damen solution at a North Sea gas production platform.
Teaming up with Ampelmann for a number of tests was a natural route says Damen Business Development Manager David Stibbe. “We’re talking to a number of transfer specialists as we continue to develop our marine access portfolio. Ampelmann has extensive expertise in producing and operating motion compensation access systems and Damen has many years of shipbuilding experience. Working together in this way means that both parties are able to draw on the expertise of the other, leading to the favourable development of their respective solutions and successfully integrated crew change solutions.
The L-type is the smallest of Ampelmann’s systems, ideally suited for smaller crew vessels ranging from 30-50m without DP. The model combines safe and efficient transfer with a capability for reliable operation up to 1.5 metre Hs. Such a profile seemed to suggest a compatibility with the Damen FCS 5009. Together, Damen and Ampelmann carried out extensive research and testing to see if the two were indeed well-matched.
“We invested in a lot of research before sailing, and it transpired that the FCS 5009 and the L-type were the perfect fit.” explains Mr Stibbe. “Once on the water we carried out in-depth interaction tests to demonstrate just how well the system and the vessel worked in tandem. The results were impressive.”
So impressive, in fact, that the FCS 5009 – L-type combination gained the confidence of a Tier 1 offshore gas production company operating in the North Sea.
Credible substitute for swing-roping and helicopter flights
“The operator was convinced by the extensive data we were able to present and allowed us to make a landing at a working North Sea platform, thus proving the effectiveness of this solution in a real-world scenario. This represents a very promising solution for an oil and gas industry looking to address efficiency and safety concerns in personnel transportation. Our tests demonstrated that the L-type could be added to an existing vessel from the Damen portfolio to provide safe, cost effective transport offshore – a credible substitute for swing-roping and helicopter flights.”
“Ampelmann has already transferred more than 2.5 million people safely worldwide for the top oil majors, mainly supporting maintenance, hook-up, commissioning and shutdown campaigns with Walk-to-Work and floatel services. Now these clients are looking for a solution in the crew change segment to improve safety and effectiveness relative to current helicopter, swing rope, surfer or baskets transfers. However, they are not only interested in the gangway, they are in search of a proven integrated solution of vessel with gangway and that is what we have produced together with Damen”, says Ampelmann Business Development Manager Crew Change Gerbrand Marbus.
As oil prices have fallen in recent times, driving processes of increased efficiency within the offshore industry, Damen has responded by developing its suite of marine access solutions. A key area is the movement of personnel on board a vessel as an alternative to helicopter transportation. A further example of this is the Damen Service Operations Vessel, the first newbuild contract for which has recently been signed with UK-based Bibby Marine Services.
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9, 000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6, 000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has a worldwide network of 15 repair and conversion yards with dry docks ranging up to 420 x 80 metres. Conversion projects range from adapting vessels to today’s requirements and regulations to the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1, 500 repair and maintenance jobs annually.
The vision of Ampelmann is to make offshore access as easy as crossing the street. The unique Ampelmann systems with fully motion compensating gangways allow safe, efficient and reliable transfers of personnel and cargo from vessels to offshore oil & gas platforms, turbines, F(P)SO’s and all other fixed and floating structures at sea. More than 2.5 million people have already walked to work safely on more than 200 projects worldwide. Ampelmann has offices in Delft, Singapore, Qatar, Brazil, Aberdeen, Brunei and Houston. For more information visit: www.ampelmann.nl