Ampelmann’s A-type Enhanced Performance (AEP) gangway system will transfer personnel from Wagenborg Offshore’s second Walk to Work Emergency Response and Rescue Vessel (W2W ERRV) Kasteelborg, to support gas production in the Dutch and UK sectors of the Southern North Sea. The six-year contract is with Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) and Shell UK Exploration & Production (Shell UK).
Launched in July 2017, the AEP gangway system features an advanced motion compensation control system with precision controls to enable fast landing and comfortable people transfers. It is designed to transfer 20 personnel safely and efficiently in less than five minutes and move cargo loads of up to 100 kg with the KIB cargo basket from the vessel to offshore structures. It can operate in sea states up to 3.5 metre significant wave height..
The Kasteelborg was converted from a standard offshore supply vessel to a specialized Walk to Work vessel in just 12 weeks at the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard in The Netherlands.
The dimensions of the AEP are the same as Ampelmann’s original A-type gangway system. However, it boasts the ability to use smaller vessels to obtain similar or even better performance and operational stability. This ultimately saves cost by allowing flexible positioning on the vessel.
Joeri Poelmann, Ampelmann’s Manager Sales & Business Development Europe & Africa, said: "As NAM/Shell UK is pursuing their strategy to simplify operations on unmanned offshore assets in the Southern North Sea, Wagenborg’s latest Walk to Work vessel combined with Ampelmann’s AEP will enable workers safe and easy access to carry out essential offshore maintenance activities. The gangway system significantly improves operational up-time on projects year-round and provides benefits to operators in rougher waters, including the North Sea, the coasts of South America, and the Middle East."
The Kasteelborg is also equipped with an additional accommodation module and motion compensated crane.