Summer 2012

Offshore wind safety

Two James Fisher companies have teamed up with Maritime International to produce two new exciting products that are designed to assist in the safe transfer of personnel to and from offshore wind farm installations.

There can be little doubt that the offshore wind sector is enjoying a period of unprecedented expansion. Within UK coastal waters alone, installed capacity is likely to expand between five and six-fold from its current operational level of 1,858 MW in the coming years. All of this brings an increasingly pressing need for the safe transfer of personnel and equipment between support vessels and turbines, both during the construction and commissioning phase as well as for on-going maintenance throughout the operational life of each offshore wind farm. 

To help meet this requirement, the new “Eco Fender” product has been designed in partnership with Maritime International to substantially increase the grip levels between the vessel bow fender and turbine fender tubes, allowing a more stable platform and thus enhancing crew safety during transfers. All Eco Fenders are made using recycled truck tyres, giving high levels of friction, durability and quantifiable performance improvements, while also underscoring the product’s environmental credentials.

Accurate monitoring

In parallel with the application of this advanced fendering product, the Strainstall Marine vessel motion monitoring system (VMMS) provides accurate motion monitoring when operating wind turbine transfer boats offshore. Vessel motion is the main safety consideration when transferring personnel to and from offshore turbines, and the Strainstall VMMS can thus significantly reduce accident risk at these critical times by giving vital motion information to the vessel master.

“The transfer of personnel and equipment between support vessels and offshore wind installations is a major concern for wind farm developers. The combination of the Eco Fender product and the Strainstall VMMS offers the prospect of making a significant positive contribution to the safety of personnel that stands to transform the offshore wind industry.”

Said Fendercare Marine business development manager, sustainable energy, Tim Smith.

The Eco Fender product is currently being tested and will be available in the coming weeks, while the Strainstall VMMS is currently available and is already in high demand. The combination of these highly effective products is a further demonstration of how James Fisher group companies are able to offer packaged solutions of tangible benefit to customers across multiple industry sectors.

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