In a unique collaborative effort, offshore access provider Ampelmann and Damen Shipyards Group are ready to enter the final testing phase of their joint project that fully integrates the S-type motion compensated gangway with the newly constructed fast crew change vessel, the Aqua Helix (FCS 7011). Final testing will commence at the end of February and customer trials are expected to begin mid-March. This all-in-one vessel and gangway is designed to address the growing demand for safe, comfortable, and efficient crew change operations in the North Sea.
The S-type is a top-of-the-line system in a range of recent Ampelmann products aimed at addressing the shortcomings of the offshore crew change market. Fully electric and lightweight, it is especially energy efficient due to its regenerative power system, requires only a single operator and can transfer up to 50 people within five minutes. Specifically designed to endure the roughest of metocean conditions, this system can compensate for waves up to 3m Hs.
The gangway has been fully integrated into the recently launched Aqua Helix – a 70m highly lightweight DP2 vessel that is ideally suited for conditions in the North Sea. The vessel can reach up to 40 knots, actively counteracts vessel motions in the roughest sea states and its spacious interior as well as onboard amenities guarantee the best possible travel experience. Optimised for rapid transits, this fully integrated collaborative crew change solution ensures a safe, efficient and comfortable transfer.
In a novel approach to offshore access, companies can commission the service provided by Damen and Ampelmann on a recurring basis to fulfil their crew change requirements. There is a growing need for flexible marine solutions that increase the efficiency of offshore operations and enable the rapid deployment of highly specialised technical crew. The combination of the Aqua Helix and the S-type will help to satisfy the demand for flexible transfer options by supplying on-demand offshore access.
Damen and Ampelmann’s innovative collaborative effort underpins the need for efficiency and safety in the regional offshore market. In many ways this new service is more than the sum of its parts. The companies’ combined expertise is sure to make an impact on the world of crew change operations.