Floris Brands
Business Development Manager Americas
Ampelmann
/
View from the Top

Walking to Work Rather than Walking the Plank

By Peter Appleby | Wed, 06/17/2020 - 12:08

Q: What are the benefits to operators in using Ampelmann’s Walk to Work system for transferring personnel in the offshore environment?

A: Walk to Work is a very safe and efficient solution for the offshore industry. It is a long-term solution for operators looking to cut OPEX and marine crew logistics. We have many studies that demonstrate the OPEX cost savings by using our systems and services. This is due to the implementation of the Walk to Work method.

The main challenge is convincing users to adapt to new technology for their operations offshore. This is more seen in new emerging markets. Changing the new for the old by introducing systems and technologies like Walk to Work is not always easy. We try to be on the frontline and build relationships with potential clients as we educate them on innovative solutions like ours. We see clients as partners. Next to increasing the offshore productivity, making operations offshore safer is also important. In certain areas we do see hesitance to shift to a new way of thinking. We try to educate users that our system is proven, safe and efficient for them.

 

Q: What can clients expect from Ampelmann?

A: We provide a full-service proposition to the clients in regards to people and cargo transfer.  This service proposition includes our own highly-skilled, trained and experienced operators, as well as engineers and project managers onshore. All of this knowledge, as well as the equipment, is added together to provide an enhanced service.

Ampelmann intends to build the Mexican market as we have done in other markets in the region with the goal to also expand our local presence in Mexico. We view Mexico as similar to other countries we entered in the Americas region in the past. We currently have full-time crews and dedicated systems in these other countries, we hope to do the same in Mexico. We do not only bring the services but also provide work for local content and fit into the local culture of the country.

 

Q: How does Ampelmann stay ahead of other companies that provide offshore transport services?

A: Competition is what drives Ampelmann in terms of innovation. We have a very technical solution and we provide high workability with a global track record that demonstrates the company’s safety and reliability. We have transferred over 6 million workers offshore over the past 12 years.

In addition, we have a full staff of engineers and project managers onshore who provide extra services on the ground. Ampelmann is not trying to completely replace other offshore transfer methods like helicopters because they will always be needed in one form or another, but we are trying to be an additional service that offers operators different means for offshore transport. We provide a cost-effective solution and this is one aspect of Ampelmann that sets us apart.

 

Q: How do Ampelmann’s Mexico GOM projects compare against the US GOM?

A: Ampelmann considers the US GOM and the Mexican GOM as two separate markets and they must be approached as such. The US GOM is a mature market and our work scopes are therefore focused on maintenance, shutdowns and pre-existing facilities that need maintenance and extra POB. In Mexico, the work scopes we have encountered are mainly hook-up and commissioning. Last year, we completed a project for a local operator which was our first hook-up and commissioning job in Mexico. Mexico is a new, emerging market for foreign operators and there will be new installations projects planned for the future. Those hook-up and commissioning projects are very time sensitive where an efficient, safe and reliably solution is necessary. These are the projects we are chasing since we see a lot added value for using our systems and services.  

 

Q: When Ampelmann looks toward the future, what growth does it see?

A: The industry is in very uncertain times with COVID-19 and the low oil price, which is unlikely to go away soon unfortunately. As we move forward, operators will be looking for where they can make cuts. But one of the global trends we are witnessing is a shift towards marine crew change. That means an offshore gangway system like Ampelmann being used daily for marine personnel transfer between shore and the offshore asset. This is proving another avenue of business for Ampelmann where we are innovating to deliver specific solutions for this market segment.  

 

Q: Could the low-price environment pose challenges to frequent maintenance on offshore assets?

A: We do see a trend where maintenance projects are pushed back when the oil price drops. We have seen this in other countries in the region where operators postponed non-critical maintenance scopes. That said, when this does happen, there is a build-up of maintenance work a year or two down the line.

 

Q: What role does Ampelmann want to play in the development of the Mexican market?

A: For a relatively small company, Ampelmann stretches its wings well. We have over 60 systems operating globally and we are present in many emerging markets, as well as mature markets. When we see a need, we commit to the region. Projects in West Africa and Brazil are examples of such. Mexico is a country where we see long-term opportunities. We hope that we can move forward and invest into the region so that it can grow. We know many vessel contractors and the new operators coming into Mexico.  We hope to build upon our existing relationships to move forward in Mexico.

 

Q: How does Mexico rank within Ampelmann’s global portfolio?

A: We see Mexico on the horizon for Ampelmann’s growth in different projects scopes. We intend to grow in Mexico and expand our business in the coming years.

 

Ampelmann is the global leader in offshore access providing solutions for transferring personnel and cargo offshore with its headquarters based in the Netherlands.

Peter Appleby Peter Appleby Journalist and Industry Analyst