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    Offshore access system delivers operational efficiencies

    Equipment & Technology // April 10, 2017

    The first use of a new offshore innovation by Ampelmann and Siem Offshore Contractors has delivered significant operational efficiencies on Germany’s first commercial offshore windfarm.

    Ampelmann’s E1000 motion compensated access system, with a gangway which transforms into a crane boom, performed over 12,000 people transfers and 7,000 cargo transfers safely between an offshore support vessel, Siem Marlin, and the wind turbines over a 10 month period from April 2016 until February 2017.

    The increase in operational man-hours on the maintenance programme for the windfarm has resulted in a contract extension for Ampelmann by Siem Offshore Contractors.

    Steven Vis, Operations Engineer at Ampelmann said: "This contract underlines the successful partnership between all parties in delivering innovation. By providing new solutions to cargo-handling, Ampelmann has demonstrated the versatility of our E-type system."

    The Ampelmann E1000 motion-compensated offshore access system, with a 30m gangway, was installed on the offshore support vessel Siem Marlin to transfer people and cargo to the turbines.

    With its ability to compensate for vessel movements caused by wind, waves or currents, the E1000 enables the safe passage of people from the vessel to the wind turbine, in even the harshest of conditions, dramatically increasing operational man-hours. By inserting four manual pins, the telescopic gangway of the E1000 can then be transformed into a fixed crane boom for fully motion compensated cargo transfers of up to 1,000kg.

    Mr Vis explained: "During the project, we came up with a solution to further increase operational efficiencies. The manual pins were replaced by hydraulic pin pushers which reduced the change-over time from people to cargo mode from ten to five minutes. The E1000 was then able to transfer both people and cargo in 20 minutes."

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