The drive toward net zero is seeing a gradual shift away from traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources to cleaner, greener fuels, with many of the world’s players reimagining energy for the betterment of people and planet.
The evolution of wind power and other renewable energies is also having a knock-on effect on those suppliers to the traditional energy sectors, with many established companies investing and expanding their roles to support this change. One such company is leading safety and survival solutions provider, Survitec.
A Global Operation
For more than 100 years, Survitec has supplied innovative products and services to the global maritime, aviation, and offshore energy industries, protecting more than a million lives every day, but the company recently reimagined its energy portfolio to include offshore wind, culminating in the acquisition of Norwegian PPE specialist Hansen Protection, which includes the HeliPPE, Lyngsøe, and Biardo brands.
“There are many synergies between the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors,” said Jim Cook, Survitec’s head of business development for energy. “Both require personnel transfer by vessel or helicopter to offshore facilities operating in harsh weather environments. With offshore wind farms becoming more important to the energy mix and turbine height increasing, we know the safety of our customers’ personnel is their No. 1 priority. It’s ours, too.”
Survitec’s portfolio of safety and survival solutions is as extensive as the markets in which the company operates. The range of equipment includes lifeboats and life rafts, lifejackets, immersion suits, fire protection and detection equipment, emergency communications, first aid and medical kits, PPE and height safety equipment.
“We look at the entire safety package requirement for any given sector,” Cook said. “For the offshore wind-energy market, this would cover all the survival technology requirements for the complete life cycle of a wind farm — including turbine installation, operation, and maintenance. With the addition of Hansen Protection and its leading offshore PPE rental brand, HeliPPE, we can now deliver the market a complete and comprehensive package.”
“Hansen Protection, along with HEliPPE was a good fit for us,” he said. “The acquisition has strengthened our position in the sector, resulting in Survitec becoming the global leader for PPE rental in the offshore wind crew/personnel transfer market. Our global reach, together with our multiple brands, products, and services, offers greater value to our offshore wind customers by providing one single partner for all their safety and survival needs. Hansen Protection has built an outstanding portfolio, with a strong reputation for the consistent delivery of excellence. By joining forces, we can deliver our customers more.”
Strategically Located Facilities
Survitec employs more than 3,000 people in 96 countries. This includes eight manufacturing facilities, three DNV accredited training centers, and a support network of more than 400 accredited service stations.
“Our facilities are strategically located for the convenience of our customers,” Cook said. “We are known for being where our customers need us and for our responsiveness. For example, our marine business serves 2,000 ports across the world, making us the unparalleled leader with a global reach.”
Survitec’s position in offshore wind puts the company in a unique position.
“The key is being a survival-technology-solutions partner for the various customers in offshore wind,” Cook said. “Each aspect of an offshore wind project requires a different safety solution. But whether we are dealing with those involved in the development and construction phase or the operation and maintenance side, they will experience the same level of service.”
According to Cook, this allows Survitec to better react immediately and efficiently to any challenges the industry may face.
“Remember, although the offshore wind farm dates back to the early 1990s, we have a proven history in offshore safety dating back a lot further,” he said. “Our trusted PPE solutions are unrivaled with almost 2 million passenger transfers each year in the North Sea alone. We have decades of experience working with offshore energy customers to develop bespoke safety solutions for their projects.
This strengthens our ability to ensure the safety of personnel working in the offshore wind sector from start to finish.
“As a company, we exist to protect lives,” he said. “Our key purpose remains protecting personnel and our customers’ assets while ensuring that our vision and mission is totally within that philosophy. Our values are captured around the safety of customers, people, excellence, innovation, and integrity.”
Notable Industry Firsts
With innovation and product development the common denominator throughout Survitec’s long history, it is not surprising the company is behind a number of notable firsts. Survitec pioneered the first inflatable life raft in 1920 and then launched the first jet escape suits and the first submarine escape suits. It was the first to introduce a SOLAS-approved life raft, followed by the first gas-operated lifejackets and full-coverage anti-G suits. The world’s first aviation lifejacket with emergency breathing system (EBS) was designed and brought to market by Survitec in 2014.
In 2019, Survitec unveiled Halo, a new aviation lifejacket with compressed air EBS for offshore helicopter passengers designed to offer personnel 80 percent more breathable air than the industry standard.
“With more than 60 years’ market-leading experience in lifejacket design, coupled with extensive industry insights, we have been able to design a lifejacket that sets a new standard in helicopter transfer safety,” Cook said. “Halo is a huge step forward in lifejacket comfortability and in-water safety performance.”
Award-Winning Descent System
And Survitec continues to improve upon its safety game by offering an award-winning descent system for offshore wind. The Evacuator moves away from a rope-based descent system to a more user friendly, mechanical evacuation process designed specifically for wind turbine technicians, according to Cook.
“This system provides a quick and intuitive escape and descent solution for your technicians in an emergency situation,” he said. “It is suitable for installation on wind turbines, offshore substations, harbor cranes, and other high-rise structures.”
Survitec’s innovative products will no doubt be a major asset to offshore wind operators expecting to grow exponentially over the next 10 years.
“We’re obviously going to see globally, the offshore wind market will grow from 29 GW, as it is today, transitioning to a global install base of 234 GW by 2030,” Cook said. “We’re seeing in the U.S., Scotland, and South Korea, that offshore wind is going to be the key renewable energy source over the next 10 years. We are putting offshore wind very much at the forefront of our business development strategy, and our recent acquisition of Hansen Protections is indicative of that commitment.”
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