TSG Marine

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by TSG Marine's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from TSG Marine is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Marine access equipment in
Work ongoing in Port of Blyth,
northeast England to support
the offshore energy sector
TSG Marine are leading the development of marine
access as a whole-service solution. An emerging industry
servicing the energy sector, marine access supports the
ongoing installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair and
decommissioning works for offshore energy infrastructure such
as oil rigs and wind turbines. It is the practice of transporting
people or equipment to or from infrastructure, accommodating
them while they are on-site and providing any support that is
necessary to complete the job. From their headquarters in the
North East, TSG Marine’s team partner with their clients to find
the best possible marine access solution to meet their specific,
complex and individual needs.
The origins of our industry can be traced back to offshore Nigeria, 2004, where the Shell
Bonga project was underway. The project involved installing and commissioning a new
floating oil platform called an FPSO, or floating production storage and offloading vessel.
Our Managing Director, Allan Syme was the marine lead for the commissioning
phase of that project, during which there was a requirement for a large increase in
the workforce. The problem arose in the form of accommodation; all the beds on
the FPSO were taken.
The solution the project leads decided on was the construction of a floating
accommodation vessel, but the issue then became one of transportation – how
would workers transfer daily from the vessel to the FPSO? A rolling gangway was
designed and constructed, allowing a permanent connection between the two
»Directors: Allan Syme and
Erika Leadbeater
»Established in 2008
»Headquarters in Hebburn,
Tyne & Wear
»Services: Marine access
solutions for the energy sector
»Armed Forces Covenant
Employer Recognition Scheme
Gold award holders
TSG Marine
vessels. The phrase that was coined
for this methodology of transferring
people from ship to work site was walk
to work, or W2W.
From those humble beginnings and
under the colloquial umbrella of W2W,
an industry has emerged. Over the
years, companies have developed
sophisticated motion-compensated
gangway systems to offset the
movement triggered by transfer vessels
shifting in the water. Alongside that,
shipowners have developed specialist
vessels – the majority of which are not
flying British flags – which now operate
in UK waters.
Our role as an independent service
provider, not tied to any gangway
or vessel solution, is to support the
client to select the right vessel and
gangway combination for the task
they need to complete. We are also
able to focus on and assist with the
job the client needs to do: installing,
commissioning, maintaining, repairing
or decommissioning their offshore
assets. This has given us a unique,
holistic view of projects and enables us
to identify efficiencies and help clients
to drive productivity.
An industry in transition
Our industry has grown organically. It
has embraced the consolidation of the
energy sector, moving from exclusively
being engaged in oil and gas projects
to supporting the development of
offshore wind. It has also developed
from a sole focus on the movement
of people, covered by the term walk
to work, to include the movement
of cargo. This has sparked the
necessity to shift to the term “marine
access”. Yet its relative obscurity has
resulted in growth with no industry
body, coherent industry norms or
That is not to suggest that practices
are unsafe; quite the contrary, in fact,
given the industry’s origins in the oil
and gas sector, which is very much
known for its stringent safety culture.
However, in our niche sector, we do
have a significant lack of agreed best
practice standards.
For example – on every new project,
the client will apply what they consider
to be applicable regulations, none of
which consider the equipment required
as one cohesive unit.
Our in-house design,
engineering and project
management teams
facilitate the provision
of our offshore marine
access services
Our role as an
service provider,
not tied to any
gangway or
vessel solution,
is to support the
client to select
the right vessel
and gangway
combination for
the task they
want to
Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
A good analogy would be to regulate
the rotor of a helicopter separately
to the chassis and have no overriding
standards as to how the two should
interact to ensure safe usage. That
leaves the industry’s vendors having
to develop their methodologies, their
practices and their equipment through
experience, rather than tangible
standards. This is not an efficient or
productive way of working.
There is a need for change; our view,
however, is that this must come from
within the industry thanks to the sheer
complexity of the work we undertake.
The imposition of well-meaning but
ill-informed regulations could stifle
the growth of an industry which could
significantly benefit the UK economy from
domestic and international projects alike.
As such, we are one of the founding
members of an international steering
group pioneered by John David
Beckers. Our objective is to support the
establishment of an industry based on
collaboration, focused on safety and
positioned for long-term sustainable
growth – one which will contribute
to the British economy and serve the
international energy sector.
That growth will come from offering a
viable, and arguably safer, alternative
to rival the current dominance of
helicopter transfer in the oil and
gas sector, supporting instead the
development of vessel-based marine
access in the renewables sector. In
order to achieve this, the industry must
agree upon best practice standards
and then seek formalisation.
The UK’s policymakers and legislators
are in a unique position to support the
marine access industry’s ambitions.
This is thanks to our experience of
the development of the North Sea oil
and gas industry and our country’s
market-leading position in the offshore
renewables sector. In addition to
the economic benefits of a growing
industry, the wider societal benefits
could also be significant.
Driving productivity and finding
efficiencies in the installation,
commissioning, maintenance, repair
and ultimately decommissioning of
the offshore infrastructure which
supports the energy sector will
stabilise the operating costs for the
companies supplying energy. Hopefully,
for customers, this will lead to a
reduction in the cost they pay whilst
also maintaining a viable market for a
competitive supply chain.
There is a
need for
change; our
however, is
that this must
come from
within the
Offshore technician
walking to work


This article was sponsored by TSG Marine. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development