James Fisher and Sons plc (James Fisher), the global provider of specialist products and services to the energy, marine and defence industries, and Uptime International (Uptime), the global leader in safe motion compensated logistics solutions for the offshore wind industry, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner for the use of motion compensated gangways in the development of the pioneering ULSTEIN SX221 Diamond SOV. The agreement between the two companies will ensure the safety and efficiency of offshore personnel through autonomous and intelligent operations.
The news follows the unveiling of the Diamond Consortium’s ULSTEIN SX221 Diamond SOV concept in June 2022. With James Fisher representing the Diamond Consortium, a collaboration with Graig and support from DNV and Ulstein Design Solutions, the SOV will exclusively utilise Uptime’s market-leading motion-compensated gangways for safe transportation of technicians and equipment between vessels and turbines.
The MoU sees James Fisher secure access to critical equipment for its SOV newbuild programme, bolstering its commitment to support the UK’s offshore wind sector to meet its capacity target of 50 GW by 2030. Continuing to operate with environmental goals in mind, Uptime’s innovative Digital Ecosystem has a long-standing track record for delivering improvements in efficiency, energy consumption and emissions while upholding the highest safety standards.
Jim Hey, group business development director at James Fisher, said: “Based on current project pipelines, at least 37 new SOVs are required to meet UK offshore wind demand. With over 1500 UK employees in offices across Lowestoft, Barrow-in-Furness, Grimsby and Aberdeen, along with our maritime heritage spanning 175 years, James Fisher has the right people in the right places to bring this innovative vessel to market, placing the UK at the centre of the global offshore wind revolution.
The logistic system is a critical element of SOV design and usage. The combination of James Fisher and Uptime’s expertise and capabilities will shore up the availability of supply with a future-proofed design for gangway technology upgrades. We are thrilled to be working with Uptime and look forward to the next steps in development.”
James Fisher will have access to Uptime’s full suite of capabilities, including its recently announced Digital Ecosystem, ensuring maximum safety and efficiency of operation through autonomous operations, including digital tracking of personnel and equipment through the logistic system onto the wind turbine, including the use of automated pallet robots.
Hugo Øyen, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Uptime, commented: “We are pleased to be working alongside James Fisher on these innovative Ulstein offshore wind support vessels. Our industry-leading logistic systems are vital to ensure the safe, efficient transportation of technicians and cargo from vessel to turbine, supported by our Digital Ecosystem, which provides robust, data-driven operational improvements. We’re proud to be supporting the global energy transition and look forward to this collaboration with a company that shares our passion and vision for sustainable solutions.”
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