First transfers took place in Gulf of Guinea in late March
The partnership between Damen Shipyards Group and Ampelmann to extend the benefits of motion-compensated gangway systems to fast crew supply vessels has reached a major landmark. At the end of March, the first Damen fast crew supply (FCS) vessel to be fitted with an Ampelmann L-type system began operations in the Gulf of Guinea. This marks a significant step forward in the move towards bringing the latest advances in safe and flexible marine access to a wider array of oil and gas operations.
Damen and Ampelmann have together been promoting their integrated solutions combining Damen’s FCS range and Ampelmann’s systems and now, thanks to the vision of Nigerian offshore services company LATC Marine and its client ExxonMobil Nigeria, the first has entered service.
An L-type Ampelmann motion-compensated gangway system has been fitted to a 50-metre Damen FCS 5009 that was already in operation with LATC Marine. The installation took place at Damen’s Nigerian service hub at Port Harcourt with Damen and Ampelmann working together to ensure a smooth integration.
Mr Gbolahan Shaba, COO at LATC Marine commented: “We are proud to have partnered with Damen and Ampelmann in delivering one of the most innovative solutions in the Nigerian upstream industry in recent years. We are especially pleased to see ExxonMobil as the first to embrace this in the Nigerian market after agreeing to trial the gangway on several of their platforms. Today, the Ampelmann system is fast becoming the company’s preferred mode of personnel transfer and we look forward to delivering additional units to them before the end of 2018.”
He continues, “LATC Marine has long been at the forefront of innovative marine service offerings, partnering with highly reputable organisations including Damen Shipyards and Clarksons Platou to deploy some of the most technologically advanced vessels to support several deep offshore drilling campaigns off Nigeria. With this first Ampelmann L-type system now in operation in Nigeria, the country’s upstream oil and gas industry is clearly trending in the right direction and we hope to continue to be a part of this. We remain committed to championing the campaign for safer offshore personnel transfer practices in Nigeria and look forward to deepening our partnership with Ampelmann and Damen in achieving this. Our desire is to see other upstream players in the country embrace this technology as well.”
David Inman, Business Development Manager Europe & Africa for Ampelmann, added: “Ampelmann is also proud to be part of the team delivering safe and efficient marine based access in Nigeria. This service-based delivery is a first for Nigeria and is part of our strategy to revolutionise the way we get our offshore workers where they make the difference. This couldn’t have been possible without having likeminded companies in LATC Marine and Damen who both share Ampelmann’s vision to make offshore access ‘as easy as crossing the street’.”
“At Damen, we are delighted to see the integrated Damen / Ampelmann marine access solution commercially operational for the first time,” observed David Stibbe, Business Development Manager. “We are especially pleased that the launch customers are a top-tier oil major in the form of ExxonMobil and an experienced operator such as LATC Marine. It was the ability of all four stakeholders to work together effectively that has made this project a success. It represents a major step change away from the traditional swing roping transfer technique used in this area, and we hope marks the start of a wider move towards safer and more efficient transfers in the region.”
The first commercial deployment of a Damen FCS 5009 with a retro-fitted Ampelmann motion-compensated gangway will also be of interest to the other existing operators of FCS 5009s. Around 40 are currently in operation around the world and this development opens up the possibility of others choosing to upgrade in a similar fashion. The new FCS 5009s that Damen holds in stock ready for outfitting and rapid delivery can now also be offered with Ampelmann’s L-type gangway as a proven option.
Damen’s new 70-metre FCS 7011 is additionally likely to benefit from the proof-of-concept effect. The 7011 has been designed to operate with the Ampelmann S-type motion-compensated gangway, and this news can only increase confidence in its future success as a game-changer in cost-effective, long-distance marine access.