Ampelmann, Seaqualize team up to develop new gangway

Dutch offshore access solutions provider Ampelmann has formed an exclusive partnership with Seaqualize, a Dutch marine motion technology innovator.

Ampelmann said that the collaboration would focus on the development of the latest S-type gangway.

The S-type is designed specifically to be fully integrated into large high-speed vessels and dedicated to long-term crew change operations.

The company added that the new gangway was designed to compensate the motion characteristics of these vessels when in dynamic positioning alongside a platform.

Part of the solution comes from the balanced heave compensation technology of Seaqualize. This patented technology engages the non-linear force of a gas spring to create an easily adjustable counterbalance, enabling balanced heave compensation.

The full-scale prototype is funded by a subsidy of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs through top sector energy.

Wiebe Jan Emsbroek, commercial manager of crew change at Ampelmann, said: “The crew change market requires a light-weight transfer system which enables a safer and more cost-effective alternative to other crew change methods, such as helicopters.

“It [the S-type] utilizes electric actuators opposed to traditional hydraulics which results in reduced fuel consumption for the vessel and significant overall project savings.”

Production of the S-type is scheduled to start in early 2018 and Ampelmann predicts that the cost for operators using the system would be around 30 percent less than those using helicopters.

“The S-type can continuously transfer 50 people and luggage in five minutes in significant wave heights of up to three to four meters. The S-type design can be tailored for installation to individual vessels and is expected to be a particularly attractive option on current or new build fast or light-weight medium-sized vessels, such as mono-hulls, catamarans, and trimarans,” the company said.