Reflex Marine sees demand grow globally for TORO crew transfer capsule

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Entering the renewables sector, selling four capsules for use on wind turbine installation barges.

Recognised experts in marine personnel transfer, Reflex Marine, is meeting global demand for its TORO crew transfer capsule and has sold 30 across offshore Asia-Pacific, Europe, North and West Africa, Australia and America.

Most of the units are being utilised by major international oil and gas operators, however, the company has also entered the renewables sector, selling four capsules for use on wind turbine installation barges.

While Reflex Marine’s range of crew transfer capsules are an accepted and established method of crew transfer in the oil and gas industry, safe access to offshore wind turbines is still a key concern for operators. Significant numbers of personnel must access offshore wind structures for year-round maintenance or unplanned interventions.

Reflex Marine has reviewed a variety of concepts and believes that a vertically winched capsule, such as the TORO, could provide an excellent access solution to the turbines themselves. The main advantages being improved safety through reduced reliance on human responses, a much-improved operating envelope, a means of emergency evacuation and the ability to extract injured and stretchered personnel and one system for moving people and equipment.

The TORO, which was launched in February 2009, can carry up to four passengers, protecting them from side impact and heavy landings and is buoyant and self-righting. The protected body position and seat design allow it to be used without seatbelts (subject to company policy and local legislative requirements) and facilitates fast loading and unloading of personnel. Certified with CE marking and ABS Type Approval, the TORO fits into a standard shipping container, providing significant logistical benefits.

David Brittan, Reflex Marine’s business development director said: “We are very happy to hit this landmark sale, especially as the technology was launched at a time of economic downturn. The TORO was developed in direct response to industry demand for a low cost transfer device which still maintained high levels of passenger protection and operational performance. With operators scrutinising their budgets, we feel the TORO can offer a cost-effective and truly safe alternative to more established forms of traditional transfer baskets.

“We are particularly pleased with the initial uptake from the wind energy sector. For some time now, we have been discussing the offshore access challenge for turbines and we are now seeing companies look into how this will be resolved. It is great to see the licensing round three being so successful but if people don’t start thinking about the operation and maintenance challenges, we could fall behind our European counterparts.”

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