SMST’s offshore access and lifting in one for DEME


SMST is well underway to finalize its next generation gangway with increased lifting capacity and functionality, of which the first system is currently being commissioned at SMST. Later this year, the gangway for safe transfer of crew and cargo is going to be installed at Cemre Shipyard on board of DEME’s first Service Operation Vessel for windfarm maintenance.

DEME’s SOV 'Groene Wind' will be chartered by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (referred as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. Uniquely, it is the first SOV to serve three different wind farm sites. The SOV features a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) design, which ensures low wave impact on movements when approaching the wind turbines, compared to a monohull SOV. The vessel will enable safe and efficient transfers in all weather conditions, being the first DP2, twin-hulled SOV in the world.

Another first for DEME is that they will be the first to benefit from SMST’s innovative offshore access and lifting solution. “With this gangway we meet the increased operational profile for all year operations and accepted the challenge of the operational limitations of handling cargo to a Transition Piece”, says Jan Eelke van der Meulen, Sales Manager at SMST, “We introduced new functionalities to our gangway by adding a cargo transfer system under the gangway.” The cargo winch installed under the bridge tip for motion compensated lifting is equipped with a travel system enabling the transfer of cargo under the full bridge length. The system increases logistical efficiency and gives room for a broader scope of work. It allows the load to be handled more secure, with less movements and in higher sea-states.

The cargo transfer system is developed in close co-operation with DEME, a world leader specialized in the fields of dredging, marine engineering and environmental remediation. “SMST’s track record as manufacturer of motion compensated cranes was very valuable. With this solution we have lifting reach under the entire gangway, fully 3D motion compensated lifting capacity and ship-to-ship lifting to the Crew Transfer Vessel’s. This happens all directly out of the cargo hold, which is a real game changer of the cargo logistics on board of our SWATH”, comments Henk van Mol, Project Manager New Build Department at DEME Group.

SMST is confident that with this new type, the so-called Telescopic Access Bridge L-2 type, the gangway is ready for the future of transporting heavy cargo over the bridge. Jan Eelke van der Meulen explains: “Transport of cargo by means of electric cargo transporters travelling over the gangway is a continuous, rapid development. The demand for autonomous features and enlarged cargo weight is increasing. Our gangway is equipped for this.” Another element of the gangway that improves future durability is the further developed dual luffing system of the gangway. The installed power for the gangway is significantly reduced which positively contributes to the reduction of the vessel’s CO2 emission.

With the delivery of the vessel in 2021 both SMST and DEME have enlarged their product portfolio for the offshore industry. “As we both are parties with an innovative vision, we have been able to work perfectly together. We both are proud to have taken the step to develop a product that extends the business total package for the offshore wind industry”, comments Michiel Bertels, Naval architect at DEME Group.


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