Ampelmann designs and delivers innovative, safe, reliable and efficient transfer solutions to the offshore energy industry globally. With a track record of more than 8.6 million safe people transfers, over 25 million kg cargo transfers and 540 projects worldwide, Ampelmann operates in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East.  

The company currently maintains a fleet of 68 operational systems used for transferring crews and cargo to offshore structures. Its solutions are tailored to the needs of different market segments, sea states, cargo and crew loads, and are used by the key players in the global industry. 

Interview with Jaap Lelieveld, Senior Business Developer, Europe at Ampelmann.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? 

Jaap Lelieveld: We rent and sell motion compensated gangway systems for personnel and transfer offshore. As one of the pioneers of Walk to Work (W2W), our high-tech solutions provide critical support to the Wind and Oil & Gas (O&G) sectors to ensure the highest standards of safety during offshore operations. 

Next to O&G and Wind, we are also active in floating wind. Our work scope includes crew change, as well as supporting the construction, maintenance and decommissioning of offshore structures and installations. We also provide a robust services package that includes data insights for clients’ projects, workability forecasts and operator training to ensure peak efficiency when working offshore. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products? 

J.L: The coming years will see the gradual introduction of innovative solutions to further reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of our systems. In 2020, we became carbon neutral by offsetting all our carbon emissions, and through the electrification of our fleet and the introduction of modularity and circular supply chains, we will see significant improvements in our environmental footprint. 

Through the use of electric regenerative technology, the total energy consumption of our systems will be reduced by 90%. We have begun to electrify our fleet of A-type gangways and two systems are already operational.  

We are also developing our W-type system that is specifically catered to the Wind industry. This modular tower system is the first electric gangway within its class and can be fixed to a vessel to transfer personnel and cargo from varying heights from the vessel straight to the wind turbine. Wide enough to allow for trolley operations, the gangway can also convert into a crane with a lifting capacity of two tonnes.

E.E: What are the ranges of products? 

J.L: Not only do we have a diverse portfolio of motion compensated gangways that are specifically tailored to suit distinct regional and global demands, but we also offer services to improve operational safety and efficiency. This includes an operator training programme and digital services such as Ampelmann Insights that provide data analytics and daily reporting on projects. Apart from our standard fleet, our modular add-ons give our clients greater control over their desired access solutions.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? 

J.L: As a global company, we see a varying degree of maturity in different regions across the different sectors when it comes to offshore access solutions. Nevertheless, W2W, and with it, motion compensated gangways, are fast becoming the industry norm, paving the way for safer and more efficient means to work offshore.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? 

J.L: The Wind sector is a fast-growing market both in the number of wind farms and in technical developments. We are seeing a growth of offshore wind especially in regions such as the Americas, Asia Pacific and in Europe.

We also see that floating wind is fast becoming a major new market segment within the renewable offshore energy sector that requires the use of motion compensated gangways.  We still see a consistent and steady growth in W2W solutions in the O&G sector. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? 

J.L: The foundation of our company is the Ampelmann gangway system: a genuine game-changer in the offshore sector. Consisting of a hexapod and a gangway that allows for full motion compensation in all six degrees of freedom, our systems make offshore access as easy as crossing the street. Because our gangways remain stable during rough sea conditions, they help improve the workability and safety of offshore operations globally.

As a company that is constantly innovating, we are electrifying our hexapod systems and producing new energy efficient solutions that significantly reduce our environmental footprint. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023? 

J.L: We are looking forward to significant growth within the offshore O&G and Wind sector globally. We expect the growth of these sectors to continue in the coming years, leading to an increased demand for safe and efficient access solutions. 

We are also launching new products and modular systems as we continuously improve our existing systems and prepare for the future through innovation. In 2023, we will introduce two new system designs to the market, the F-type and the W-type, as well as expand our existing fleet of A-types and E-types.

Also in 2023, we are excited to be expanding our presence across the globe as new markets emerge. Particularly because of the construction of new wind farms in Europe, Asia and the Americas, we expect a growing number of scopes in the offshore wind and floating wind sector. Early in the year, we opened a new office in Taiwan and in the USA and are preparing for the imminent growth of the wind markets there.