First orders placed for Osbit Power’s MaXccess Offshore Access System

In the past month, Siemens and Scira energy have placed the first orders for Osbit Power’s MaXccess wind turbine access system. Siemens’ purchase is the first sale of the system and follows a series of intensive trials at Norway’s Hywind Demo site. The trials were prompted through a strategic alliance between Siemens, Osbit Power, Statoil and Fred Olsen Windcarrier, set up to develop a safer personnel transfer method.

Siemens aims to significantly improve safety at sea for its technicians and help reduce the overall cost of offshore wind. Its MaXccess system will be used on a wind project aiming to increase experience and identify further optimisation opportunities. The system will become operational in August.

Scira Offshore Energy (a joint venture between Statoil and Statkraft), the operator of Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, will use MaXccess to provide safe and reliable access to wind turbines in a range of weather conditions. This system will be used on wind farm support vessels, with delivery in October.

Dr Tony Trapp, Chief Executive of Osbit Power commented: “It really has been a most exciting and rewarding month. These orders mark the culmination of two very hard years of work perfecting the MaXccess system. We were confident that once it was tested by stakeholders they would be as enthusiastic as we are about it, and this has certainly proved to be the case.”

The MaXccess system creates a stable platform from which personnel can transfer to and from wind turbines. The system clamps on to either of the vertical buffer tubes of a standard boat landing; it allows the vessel to roll, pitch and yaw freely, while preventing potentially dangerous vertical bow motion. The secure and measured connection is created without the need for active compensation, or personnel exposure to vessel heaving.

The government have also commended Osbit Power’s innovative work.

Chief Executive Tony Trapp comments “We heard news of the Sheringham Shoal contract as Prime Minister, David Cameron, was making a very brief visit to Norway. We asked him if he would like to make a comment on our success and were delighted to receive a letter from 10 Downing Street, and the following message from DECC: “We congratulate Osbit Power Ltd on the successful offshore trials of the MaXccess system on Statoil’s Hywind Demo floating offshore wind turbine and E.ON’s Scorby Sands wind farm. This has led to the first two commercial orders of the MaXccess system by Siemens and Scira Offshore Energy’.

“Allowing personnel to safely access offshore wind turbines in more difficult sea conditions, reducing the cost and increasing the safety of offshore wind, are important for the successful growth of the offshore wind sector. Osbit Power’s success is a clear example of how UK engineering firms are leading the development of innovative solutions to help increase the safety and reduce the costs for the offshore wind sector.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is pleased to be providing support for innovation in the development of the next generation of MaXccess technology, through our Offshore Wind Component Technologies Scheme.”

E.ON itself has also publicised the fact that it had successfully trialled MaXccess on its Scroby Sands wind farm, highlighting that “this is an innovative solution that could be used in commercial operation in the near‐term”.