Dutch duo working on offshore helicopter transfer alternative

Dutch company Damen Shipyards and its compatriot Ampelmann, a motion compensation solutions provider, have teamed up to conduct tests with Ampelmann’s L-type gangway system on board Damen Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 5009 in order to provide solutions for the crew transfer market.

Damen said on Wednesday that it has increased its cooperation with several access suppliers but that the Ampelmann co-op resulted in a live demonstration of their solution at a North Sea gas production platform.

The L-type is the smallest Ampelmann system, suited for smaller crew vessels ranging from 30-50m. Gangway length of the system is 10m and possesses motion compensation with the capability of operating up to 1.5m Hs.

Damen Development Manager, David Stibbe, said that a lot of research was put into the pairing of the L-type and the FCS 5009 and according to Stibbe, the results were ‘impressive.’

The positive results allowed the duo to use their newly combined system on a facility of a Tier 1 offshore gas production company operating in the North Sea.

Amplemann Business Development Manager Crew Charge, Gerbrand Marbus, said: “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.“

He added that the system could be considered as a credible substitute for swing-roping and helicopter flights.

Marbus also stated that the client was not interested in a gangway solution but in an integrated vessel-with-gangway solution which would improve safety and effectiveness in relation to current solutions available on the market.

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