Dutch offshore access solutions provider Ampelmann has won two contracts with L.A.T.C. Marine Limited, on behalf of ExxonMobil, for the supply of two L-type gangway systems, offshore Nigeria.
Ampelmann said on Tuesday that the L-type gangway system was approved for operations, following successful sea trials.
Vessel owner L.A.T.C Marine has installed the personnel transfer system on its Damen FCS-5009 fast crew supplier vessel Dijama for infield operations with ExxonMobil. The L-type is suited to small, crew change vessels and allows a continuous flow of up to 50 personnel every five minutes.
Gbolahan Shaba, CEO of L.A.T.C. Marine, said: “We are proud to have partnered with Damen and Ampelmann in delivering one of the most innovative solutions for the Nigerian upstream industry in recent years. Today, the gangway is fast becoming the company’s preferred mode of personnel transfer, and we look forward to delivering additional units to them before the end of 2018.”
According to Ampelmann, an updated version of the L-type is currently being fabricated at the company’s production facility in Rotterdam.
This is planned to be installed and delivered onboard another Damen-built FCS-5009, the Chilosco, later this year to support further maintenance operations offshore Nigeria for L.A.T.C Marine.
David Inman, Ampelmann’s business development manager for Europe and Africa, added: “We are delighted to build on our relationship with L.A.T.C. Marine and Damen to enable ExxonMobil to safely transfer personnel to work offshore Nigeria. Both companies clearly recognize and appreciate the safety and operational benefits that the L-Type / Damen 5009 combination can bring compared to conventional methods.”
In a separate statement, Damen said that the first fast crew supply vessel to be fitted with an Ampelmann L-type system began operations in the Gulf of Guinea.
The company installed the L-type gangway on the Dijama vessel at Damen’s Nigerian service hub at Port Harcourt.
David Stibbe, business development manager at Damen, said: “[…] we are delighted to see the integrated Damen / Ampelmann marine access solution commercially operational for the first time. We are especially pleased that the launch customers are a top-tier oil major in the form of ExxonMobil and an experienced operator such as L.A.T.C. Marine.
“It represents a major step change away from the traditional swing roping transfer technique used in this area, and we hope marks the start of a wider move towards safer and more efficient transfers in the region.”
Damen added that the first commercial deployment of a Damen FCS 5009 with a retro-fitted Ampelmann motion-compensated gangway would also be of interest to the other existing operators of FCS 5009s.
Around 40 are currently in operation around the world, and this development opens up the possibility of others choosing to upgrade in a similar fashion. The new FCS 5009s can now also be offered with Ampelmann’s L-type gangway as a proven option.
According to Damen, the company’s new 70-meter FCS 7011 is likely to benefit from the proof-of-concept effect. The 7011 has been designed to operate with the Ampelmann S-type gangway.