Lifting and Rigging Seminar

Challenges and Opportunities in Offshore Wind Lifting Technology: A Recap of the 12th Lifting and Rigging Seminar

By Usha Martin

The 12th Lifting and Rigging Seminar took place in Amsterdam, which was organised by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). It brought together many industry professionals from Europe, South Africa, and North and South America. The international conference focused on the technical and operational challenges posed by increasingly heavier lifts in the offshore wind sector. Allen Leatt, IMCA’s Chief Executive Officer inaugurated the 12th Lifting and Rigging Seminar and said that the focus for this year’s seminar is on lifting technology in the offshore wind sector.

Event update from the Chairperson of LRMC

Laura Lombardi, Managing Director, Usha Martin Italia and Chairperson of IMCA’s Lifting & Rigging Management Committee (LRMC) shares her thoughts on the recent Lifting & Rigging Seminar, held in Amsterdam.

About Laura Lombardi

Laura Lombardi is the Managing Director of Usha Martin Italia, which is the technical and R&D center of Usha Martin Group, a global manufacturer of high-performance wire ropes. Laura has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been involved with IMCA since 2010. She became the vice chairperson of LRMC in 2016 and chairperson in February 2021.

Background of the International Seminar

The Lifting & Rigging Seminar is put together by a workgroup, comprising people involved in the LRMC’s work. Hence, they are all IMCA members with vast experience and in-depth knowledge of offshore lifting activities within our industry. The LRMC generates these events as forums for discussion between members and non-members alike with a focus on critical technical and operational topics. Bringing together a mixture of presentations and workshops allows attendees to focus on specific topics during the day, identifying the actual state of the industry and its future requirements and encouraging contractors, suppliers, and representatives from regulatory bodies to share their experiences and needs.

In this conference, Laura stepped at the last minute to Chair the seminar on the day as unfortunately David Cannell from TechnipFMC, who has traditionally fronted this event, was unable to attend. Our thanks go to David for his great contribution to getting in touch with the speakers and developing the event and we look forward to his return at the next seminar.

The theme focused on the technical side of offshore lifting and the challenges created in the renewable energy market, which is stretching the vessels and equipment capabilities, with components that are continuously getting bigger and more complex. We had a great speaker lineup with contributions from all areas of the industry, and I would like to thank each of them for their time and efforts in being part of this event and sincerely thank all attendees for their interaction.

We also had a dedicated open panel with the suppliers, in which questions and answers were shared and good discussions were initiated.

Laura said: this seminar was part of a series of events that commenced in 2012 and focused on high-value offshore wire ropes. The seminars have proven to be a great platform for the subsea contractors to discuss their issues and concerns with various equipment suppliers to come up with effective solutions for the future. Over the years, we had great discussions and have seen significant changes in the approach taken to the care and maintenance of high-value steel wire ropes within the industry. In 2018, we took the decision to return to offshore cranes. The workshops during the 2018 seminar were used to identify the industry needs and crucial topics related to offshore cranes. From this, we identified the training needs of personnel, offshore lift planning, digitalisation of offshore cranes, and general crane technology requirements. In 2019, we covered training & personnel competencies. In 2020, we were hit by COVID. However, IMCA still ran a webinar that covered Crane Systems and Offshore Lifting.

A review of some of IMCA’s key lifting documents was presented in this recent seminar, which included guidance on the selection of wire ropes, storage, transport, maintenance, discard criteria, and factors causing wire rope deterioration. This document also included the use of non-destructive examination (NDE) by means of MRT for wire ropes, to assist with inspection and integrity management.

Looking ahead

Laura reminded everyone that the next IMCA Lifting and Rigging Seminar would take place on 26th October 2023 in Amsterdam and hoped to see everyone again.

You can register yourself and sponsorship opportunities are available. Detailed information can be viewed on IMCA Lifting & Rigging Seminar 2023 – IMCA (imca-int.com).