Next Generation Gangway at work at Walney Extension

Friday, 18 August, 2017 - 13:15
 The Next Generation Gangway installed on the walk-to-work vessel for safe transfer of people and goods from ship to platform (Photo: Barge Master)
The Next Generation Gangway installed on the walk-to-work vessel for safe transfer of people and goods from ship to platform (Photo: Barge Master)

The “Next Generation Gangway” is in operation on the subsea-support walk-to-work vessel VOS Start. The ship is chartered by MHI Vestas Offshore for the installation of wind turbines at the Walney Extension Wind Farm at the Irish Sea.

To make VOS Start from Vroon Offshore Services one of the most innovative ships in the market the gangway solution was provided by its Dutch partners Barge Master, a leading company in the field of motion compensation systems, and Bosch Rexroth.
The motion-compensated gangway is mounted on a height-adjustable pedestal with an integrated elevator enabling a continuous workflow. Additionally, the pedestal makes it possible for the gangway to land on any height, keeping the gangway horizontal and providing stepless transfers. Both people and cargo can be transported from the ship deck or the level below to the level of the gangway, where they can instantly cross.

Compensate wave heigths

This next generation gangway, which is operated by a single operator, is equipped with extremely fast sensors and control technology. Movements of the ship can be translated into ‘counter movements’ of the gangway within milliseconds. Because of this the system is able to compensate for wave heights up to 3 meters allowing safe transfers. Forces are also measured in the tip of the gangway, which allows for the forces to be kept low. This reduces the possibility of the tip to slip, significantly increasing the workability.
Barge Master emphasizes that the gangway is designed and built to the highest standards and certified under the new DNV-GL rules for motion-compensated gangways. It has been extensively tested onshore at a specially designed test facility at Bosch Rexroth in Boxtel. The onshore testing made sure that only a very short period was needed to get the gangway operational on the VOS Start. Only a few days of offshore testing where needed.

Safe and efficient transfer

Foppe Molenaar, Vroon Newbuilding Superintendent states: “The continuous access is what makes this system unique compared to traditional systems. The Barge Master motion-compensated gangway system ensures safe and efficient transfer of personnel, whatever the sea conditions. These gangways are now the preferred option during construction and maintenance work at offshore windfarms and oil & gas platforms, offering clients a reliable and cost-effective alternative to helicopter flights.
Martijn Koppert, CEO of Barge Master, says: “With this solution users are able to transfer people and goods from ship to platform 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making this solution far better than anything available at the market at this moment. I am confident that, together with Bosch Rexroth, we will optimally serve the offshore wind market with this next generation gangway.”

Barge Master / Silke Funke

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