Northumberland-based Osbit Ltd, the offshore engineering and technology company, has been awarded a project to deliver an innovative boat landing and access system, which will be fitted to a GMS jack-up accommodation vessel destined for DONG Energy’s Hornsea Project One Wind Farm.
The boat landing system has been commissioned by Aberdeen-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS) UK Ltd and will be installed on one of its self-elevating, self-propelled, dynamically positioned Large Class accommodation vessels.
The project is Osbit’s first contract win from GMS UK and will diversify its existing access offering. GMS, intent on delivering innovative solutions to its clients, required the development of a system to specifically facilitate crew transfers to and from a jacked-up vessel to crew transfer vessels (CTVs) and offshore wind transition stations, and this original thinking has resulted in a highly practical boat landing system that is an industry first.
Utilising a unique access tower with an integrated crew transfer vessel (CTV) boat landing, technicians will be able to safely access transfer vessels regardless of whether the GMS accommodation vessel is in a floating position or has been jacked-up to a pre-determined deck height of 21 metres above sea level.
Osbit’s system, in accordance with GMS’ requirements, is integral to allowing work crews to remain offshore, rather than making daily trips to and from shore and will facilitate up to 50 crew transfers each day. The vessel, and its sister accommodation vessel, will be deployed 120 kilometres off the Yorkshire coast.
The boat landing system will be raised and lowered into position using the vessel’s onboard crane, and will feature a waiting area and vessel interface that mirrors the buffer and ladder units found on traditional turbine transition pieces.
GMS’ design concept was progressed at Osbit’s headquarters in Riding Mill, Northumberland. The boat landing system will be fabricated in the region, supporting GMS’ local supply chain objectives, and the system will be installed when the vessel arrives in the North East at the start of 2018.
Brendon Hayward, Managing Director of Osbit Ltd, said: “In delivering our first project for GMS UK Ltd we are proud to be involved in the development of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. This boat landing system enables safe and efficient crew transfer, with minimal operational interference.
“The versatility of the system ensures transfers can take place without being affected by the jack-up vessel height and therefore won’t interfere with operations or substation access. As a result, the vessel can become a hub for technicians working on the substations or turbines, delivering more efficient and cost-effective use of the project’s offshore accommodation provision, while maintaining safety at all times.”
Duncan Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Marine Services, said: “Gulf Marine Services has been at the forefront of jack up barge innovation since the design of the original four-legged self-propelled concept in 1982, which has given us the ability to relocate rapidly between offshore installations. As a business, we have constantly been evaluating and developing more efficient means of deployment of equipment and services in shallow water. In the oil and gas industry we have led the field in light cantilever intervention development and this boat landing system we are producing in tandem with Osbit is another first of its kind in the world.
“The system gives our barges the ability to safely transfer personnel from crew transfer boats to our barges while remaining jacked up on location with the requisite air gap. Once again it reduces non-productive time for our client while enhancing and improving safety and comfort for those workers offshore who need to access offshore wind transition stations for hook up or maintenance.”