As 2020 ends, Ampelmann looks forward to a year of new solutions and innovation

February 09, 2021

Yes, this past year has been a different one. It has brought changes to the way we all work and to the market we operate in. It has forced us to be flexible, time and time again, in order to continue doing business and deliver the quality and service that Ampelmann is known for in the industry.

"Despite the global challenges, finding solutions together proved the only way forward. Working together on keeping the offshore operations going and working together to get our people home safely, even across difficult barriers. Working together, apart and from home. And working together on innovations. The main theme of 2020 was team spirit."

- Jan van der Tempel, CEO, Ampelmann

As we wrap this year up, we look back at all the good things that happened – the important milestones we reached and the new innovations we brought to life.

Expanding to new markets and territories

Over the course of the past year, Ampelmann has continued to grow its presence across the globe, securing a number of notable projects in new territories. In March, the company signed its first contract for work off the coast of Guyana and together with SBM Offshore assisted the hook-up and commissioning of an FPSO.

It also secured a work scope with McDermott and introduced its A-type Enhanced Performance (AEP) to the East Coast of India. The system operated during monsoon and was chosen specifically because of its high workability in rough weather conditions.

More recently, the company also signed a contract with Seaway 7 for a project due to start in 2021. This marks the company’s first job in Taiwan and in offshore wind in Asia.

New projects, milestones and ongoing collaborations

Throughout the year, Ampelmann has been working hard on reaching milestones, getting new projects and extending already existing ones. June was a good month for offshore access in the North Sea, as the company secured five offshore wind contracts within the month. Two A-type and three E1000 systems were put to work to aid installation and maintenance at several wind farms.

Just a few weeks later, an E-type on the Olympic Taurus Walk to Work (W2W) vessel went on to support topside commissioning work on Ithaca Energy’s FPF-1 offshore semi-submersible, also in the North Sea. The combination of the Ampelmann system and the vessel was a very suitable solution for continuing work under the current COVID-19 measures. As the FPF-1 has only a limited number of beds, it was necessary to look for an alternative that can increase the number of people on board (POB) while taking social distancing into account. This W2W combination offered that alternative.

A key milestone from this year is also the Ampelmann’s sale of a winterised A-type system to Royal Niestern Sander shipyard. It is a new motion compensated gangway system that combines the features of the original A-type with the ability to operate in extreme cold weather. The system will operate on the first shallow draft ice-breaking Walk to Work (W2W) vessel that the shipyard is currently developing.

In the meantime – on the other side of the world – the company extended its collaboration with Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) for another three years. It provided two of its latest version L-type systems to enable daily crew change operations in the Asia Pacific region.

In the Middle East Ampelmann completed its 1 millionth transfer after nearly a decade of operating in the region. The milestone transfer took place during a project with vessel owner Halul Offshore Services Company W.L.L., enabling maintenance, well services and shutdown work.

Innovations and a strong focus on client services

Alongside the milestones, new and extended contracts, Ampelmann has also been working on a range of innovations to ever-better meet the needs of its clients.

The E5000, a motion compensated system based on the proven E1000 and with a capacity to transfer people as well as cargo up to five tonnes, has been in development over the past year and is now in its final stages of testing. It will be ready for work offshore in early 2021.

The SOV system, on the other hand, is being designed to fit the increasingly specific needs of offshore wind operators - from high operational efficiency to safe working at varying heights. With a wider, height adjustable gangway and the ability to transform into a crane, the system enables the efficient transfer of both personnel and cargo. It is fully electric, too, minimising the carbon footprint of offshore operations.

Another key innovation has been the Temporary Work Platform (TWP), which makes it possible to gain access to hard-to-reach places offshore. With it, work on locations such as jacket legs no longer requires rope access or scaffolding. Watch this video to see the TWP in action.

In making sure clients get the most of each of its W2W systems, the company is also rolling out its own data analytics platform, Ampelmann Insights. The solution provides timely, reliable and accurate data in to the W2W operation to help clients make informed decisions, review performance and optimise their work day by day.

“In 2021, we will continue to sail the blue oceans, said Van der Tempel. “As the activities slowed down this year, we geared up further in co-development of systems and services in Ampelmann. The year 2021 will see these innovations come to market to increase workability, help drive down cost for our clients and extend the scope of offshore operations where Ampelmann is the partner of choice. So we continue to make: offshore access as easy as crossing the street.”