Improving port operations with telescopic gangways and motion monitoring

In the past year we’ve seen a growing interest from port operators to use gangways to increase safety and improve operations both in the port and for offshore transfers near the port. For example, Port Botany recently installed a gangway tower at their bulk liquid terminal to improve berth efficiency. There is also the plan by Kimberley Ports to acquire and install gangway to give 24/7 all-tide access to cruise ships in Broome where tidal fluctuations is common.

At TENSA, two ways which we can help port operators improve are through the use of telescopic gangways to improve access at the port and the application of motion monitoring system to increase safety and reduce risks for port assets.

Improving access at the port with telescopic gangways

TENSA offers passive heave compensated, active heave compensated and uncompensated gangways ranging from 8m to 23m long. In an offshore environment, these gangways are used to allow safe offshore crew transfer such as the one used recently by Technip to transfer personnel between tug vessels and barges during the Prelude Project.

TENSA’s aluminium telescopic gangways are lightweight and easy to install, thus imposing lighter loading on the host vessel. For port operators, this means the gangways can be located either on the wharf or on a movable base.

When combined with the Active Heave Compensated Pedestal (AHCP) we developed, the gangway base can be raised or lowered. The pedestal has been designed so that it can also be active heave compensated, allowing the gangway height to be adjusted by up to 5 metres, if, for instance, a vessel needs to be accessed at a high level to accommodate transfers to a wharf in a highly tidal region. The pedestal can be set to automatically adjust height as the tide rises or falls.

Possible applications of the gangways and pedestal system in port operations include:

  • Transfer of personnel from a vessel to the wharf in locations with large tidal variations such as Broome, Darwin, etc.
  • Transferring tourists from cruise vessels to ferry vessels in locations such as Exmouth, Broome Great Barrier Reef, etc.
  • Transferring tourists from ferry vessels to wharves where there is a limited berthing facility
  • Transferring crews or personnel from tug vessels to barges in offshore operations

With the ability to be installed and removed very quickly (less than an hour), gangways need only to be on the vessel when required.

Motion monitoring to increase safety and reduce risks for port assets

TENSA’s motion monitoring system, Dynamic Motion System (DMS) which provides vessel motion and position information system can support operations at the port by providing:

  • Vessel motions (heave, heave velocity, heave acceleration, unfiltered accelerations, angular rates)
  • Attitude (heading, pitch and roll)
  • Position and GPS data (lat, long, northings, eastings, elevation, velocity)

The DMS has very powerful logging capabilities and can log from remote wireless units and local units at the same time. The DMS is available for sale or on a rental basis.

Potential applications of DMS for port operations include:

  • Measuring vessel motions both in the port and at sea
  • Determining if conditions are suitable for personnel transfer between vessels (either with or without a gangway)
  • Determining if conditions are suitable for specific marine operations – e.g. ROV launching, seabed coring , lifting operations from a vessel
  • Increasing the operating seastate windows for offshore crane operations,
  • Monitoring the performance of existing heave compensation systems.
  • Logging the position and motions of a number of vessels simultaneously

If you have upcoming port projects in need of a telescopic gangway or a motion monitoring system, contact us for a consultation.