Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth’s “next-generation gangway” is now in operation for MHI Vestas’ Walney Extension Wind Farm in the Irish Sea.
The gangway is operating on the subsea-support walk-to-work vessel VOS Start from Vroon Offshore Services. The ship is chartered by MHI Vestas Offshore for the installation of wind turbines at the Walney Extension.
Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth, both based in the Netherlands, say they designed and built the gangway under the new DNV-GL rules for motion-compensated gangways.
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, the companies explain.
The gangway has been extensively tested onshore at a specially designed Bosch Rexroth facility in Boxtel in the Netherlands. The gangway, 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. In turn, the system is able to compensate for wave heights up to 3 meters – thus allowing safe transfers, according to the companies.
“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,” says Martijn Koppert, CEO of Barge Master. “I am confident that, together with Bosch Rexroth, we will optimally serve the offshore wind market with this next-generation gangway.”