SMST in the Netherlands has revealed details of a new motion-compensated offshore access system it has developed that combines the ability to transfer offshore personnel and lift cargo from a service operation vessel (SOV) onto a wind turbine
The new gangway is also designed to transfer cargo from an SOV to crew transfer vessels.
The first example of the new concept, which also has increased lifting capacity and functionality compared to its predecessors, is currently being commissioned at SMST. Later this year, the gangway will be installed on the new SOV Cemre Shipyard in Turkey is building for offshore contractor DEME.
SMST sales manager Jan Eelke van der Meulen said the new offshore access and lifting solution was designed with year-round operation in mind and to address some of the challenges involved in lifting cargo from a vessel onto a transition piece.
“We have introduced new functionality to the gangway by adding a cargo transfer system under the gangway,” he explained. A winch has been installed at the tip of the gangway to provide motion-compensated lifting. The winch is designed to move beneath the gangway along its entire length, enabling cargo to be transferred along it.
SMST said this solution “increases logistical efficiency and provides room for a broader scope of work.” The company believes it will also allow loads to be handled more securely, with reduced movements and in higher sea-states than is possible with other solutions.
The cargo transfer system was developed in close co-operation with DEME, whose newbuild department project manager Henk van Mol said, “With this solution we have lifting reach along the entire length of the gangway.
“The lifting capacity is fully 3D motion-compensated, and in addition to lifting loads onto a wind turbine, also enables us to undertake ship-to-ship lifts to CTVs.” Mr van Mol said DEME believes the ability to do so will be a ‘game-changer.’
Mr van der Meulen said the new gangway and lifting system has other advantages. These include reduced power consumption compared with older systems, and the adoption of a durable dual luffing system. He said the electric-powered gangway is also prepared to meet client demands for a greater level of autonomy and for lifting heavier cargo.
DEME’s SOV will be chartered by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for use on the Rentel and Mermaid and Seastar (SeaMade) offshore windfarms in Belgium. It is a unique vessel in its own right, having a small waterplane area twin hull which reduces wave impact on the vessel compared to a monohull SOV.
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