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Ambient Lifting

Ambient Lifting

Ambient Lifting allows accurate and safe subsea lifting without the use of heavy lift vessels. Our innovative system can be used to lift, lower or hover any object in a liquid by controlling buoyancy and ballast in pressurised receptacles. The technology enables significant cost savings on installation and decommissioning activities. The technology enables the assembly of structures and lifting apparatus onshore, whereby a small towing vessel can be used to float the structure to site thus negating the requirement for heavy lifting apparatus and support vessels. Ambient lifting can be used in a variety of industries including Oil & Gas, offshore wind and wave power.

Innovative subsea lifting without surface intervention (ie cranes, winches etc).

Benefits include:

  • Environmentally safe
  • Pumpable
  • Incompressible
  • Buoyant force independent of depth (unlike air bags)
  • Offers accurate control

Applications include:

  • structure installation
  • pipeline installation
  • decommissioning
  • salvage
  • air bag replacement
  • subsea transportation

Test-tank-underwater-shotTechnical and Commercial Features


  • Safe, simple & robust
  • Tubular buoyancy and ballast pressure containing system
  • Fully scalable
  • Can lift <1Te to >1000Te
  • Suited for confined operating spaces
  • All testing/commissioning done on land
  • Controlled descent & ascent for underwater ROV or diver positioning
  • Low sensitivity to surface weather conditions for installation
  • Recovery process is reverse installation process


  • Low cost materials
  • Off-the-shelf components
  • Can be built by local contractors
  • Rapid fabrication, sized to suit application
  • Re-usable
  • Installed by small vessels
  • Negates the need for expensive heavy lift vessels

ESS have been awarded a contract to install a 400Te subsea foundation.