• 2020 July 8 17:27

    Maritime partners unveil Autonomous Guard Vessel

    A consortium of maritime partners unveiled the concept design of an Autonomous Guard Vessel on Tuesday 7 July. C-Job Naval Architects, in collaboration with LISA Community, Seazip Offshore Service, Sea Machines, MARIN and eL-Tec Elektrotechnologie, created a modern design which will support the offshore industry by exploiting technology available today, C-Job Naval Architects says in a press release.

    The novel design is smaller and lighter than most current guard vessels used to protect offshore operations and boasts sustainable solutions as well as exploiting the benefits of autonomous shipping. In addition, the Autonomous Guard Vessel (AGV) is set to operate more efficiently as well as require lower operating costs due to no crew being required.

    This clean and lean concept to replace conventional guard vessels came to life in a project group facilitated by LISA, a community for maritime professionals. The project group resulted in a consortium, which includes C-Job Naval Architects, SeaZip Offshore Service, Sea Machines and recently joined by MARIN and eL-Tec elektrotechniek BV. Their combined industry knowledge created this viable, innovative, and sustainable alternative which benefits both wind asset owners and guard vessel operators.

    The Autonomous Guard Vessel is specifically designed for surveillance of offshore structures throughout their life cycle, ranging from wind farms to substation platforms and cable routes. With any area that needs to be secured, the AGV can continuously monitor nearby marine traffic visually as well as via radar and AIS data. With any vessel that approaches the area, measures will be taken to secure the area in order to avoid collisions and damage to the offshore infrastructure. An intruding vessel can be communicated with and will receive information on how to safely navigate the area as well as being physically escorted away from the site by the Autonomous Guard Vessel. Additionally, the encounter will be recorded to provide video footage in case of any violation or accident.

    Pelle de Jong, Founding Partner LISA, explains “Guard vessels perform an essential job, however, it is not the most exciting one for crew. Combined with the fact that conventional guard vessels are mostly outdated and thus aren’t necessarily the most comfortable let alone sustainable, it can be difficult to find well-trained crew willing to do the job.

    “The group set out to improve upon the overall process of securing an offshore area while incorporating sustainable solutions and reducing overall cost. By utilizing the knowledge we have as a group as well as the technology already available, we succeeded in creating a design which does this and more.”

    Thanks to incorporating state-of-the-art technology, the Autonomous Guard Vessel does not require crew onboard the vessel.  Therefore, accommodations can be eliminated in the design, meaning the ship will be considerably smaller than existing guard vessels. The smaller size creates a number of opportunities, such as using batteries thanks to reduced propulsion requirements. Additionally, the reduced power and lack of onboard crew leads to lower operational costs.

    Sustainability is key to ensure both the viability and durability of the design. Rolph Hijdra, Autonomous Research Lead at C-Job Naval Architects, says “We are pleased we were able to develop a battery-powered design, ensuring the Autonomous Guard Vessel is free of harmful emissions. Additionally, the ship has solar panels across the top which allows for the continuation of navigation and communications in case the batteries run out of power.

    “Contrary to current guard vessels, the AGV will continue to be operational even with rough sea conditions and have minimal underwater noise owing to the smaller size, reduced propulsion requirements and absence of a diesel engine.”

    The Autonomous Guard Vessel will recharge its batteries via a charging station. The charging station can be moored independently or connected to existing equipment onsite. Depending on the situation, charging could either be via a cable connection to the on-site equipment such as an offshore transformer platform or locally generated using renewable fuels.

    The consortium envisions an offshore site will need a number of Autonomous Guard Vessels, which can take turns in monitoring the area and recharging. Harm Mulder, Operations Manager at SeaZip Offshore Service, says “The Autonomous Guard Vessels will be constantly patrolling the area and take turns recharging. One fully charged AGV will remain on stand-by supporting operations if a situation arises. For example, when an intrusion is detected – one of the AGVs will monitor, warn, and escort the intruding ship to safety, while the others continue normal operations. Alternatively, it could take over from a monitoring vessel in case the battery runs out of power.”

    While the consortium continues to work on the Autonomous Guard Vessel design, they have considered human intervention for the unmanned vessel. Conventional guard vessels patrolling offshore structures, from installation through to decommissioning, have few incidents that require intervention from those onboard the vessel. For those exceptional circumstances the Autonomous Guard Vessel, if human intervention would be required, will be connected to a Command Center which could control the AGV remotely to ensure correct action is taken. In addition, all data collected by the AGV will be send to the Command Center. This can be a standalone on a mother ship or a shore-based station.

    Frank Relou, Business Development Manager at Sea Machines, says “Smart vessel technology will have the most significant initial impact on small workboats, such as this guard vessel. The development of autonomous technology for vessel operations are occurring on an international level but namely in niche segments, such as the guard vessel and other examples, currently operating in (with supervised autonomy), marine survey, fire, patrol, aquaculture and offshore wind operations.”




2020 August 13

20:58 Rosmorrechflot promotes Stanislav Uryupin to Port of Novorossiysk Harbourmaster
18:31 Glavgosexpertiza gives nod to Sovetskaya Gavan LPG terminal project
18:06 Global Industry Alliance issues Just-In-Time Arrival Guide
17:36 HMM Rotterdam en route to Rotterdam
17:18 Ust-Luga Multipurpose Reloading Complex half-year cargo volume down 9% year-on-year
17:06 The operational situation in the port of Beirut is back to normal
16:48 TCSP Group half-year throughput grows 11.4%
16:31 Kalmar service expertise to enhance safety, performance and productivity on WWO’s American routes from Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama
16:12 CMA CGM announces PSS from North Europe (except France) to Australia & New Zealand
15:26 Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government opens multi million pound bulks terminal at Teesport
15:21 St. Petersburg set to create infrastructure for all-electric passenger vessels
14:39 First supply of bunker fuel by Gazpromneft Marine Bunker to the brand new cruise ship Mustai Karim
13:52 MABUX releases weekly review of global bunker market
13:21 VIKING delivers first of ambulance boat trio for Hellenic Coastguard
12:32 Grain exports via Krasnodar Krai based seaports in Jan-Jul jump 32%
12:14 Port of Oakland import cargo volume grew 6.4 percent in July
11:33 MacGregor receives EUR 18 million RoRo orders from Japan
10:52 Australia authorities issue fumigation requirements for the 2020/2021 high risk season
10:17 Sea Port of St. Petersburg half-year cargo volume rose 3%
10:14 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 13
09:52 Crude futures prices retreat
09:32 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 12
08:26 ME-GI engine sails through sea trials

2020 August 12

18:57 Risavika LNG index for September up by 8.9 % week on week
18:27 Andreas Rieckhof new Chairman of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH Supervisory Board
18:08 At the three Hamburg container terminals throughput volume down 12.0 % in H1 2020
18:07 Sri Lanka Ports Authority assures safe handling of dangerous cargo under UN regulations
17:47 Rosmorport’s Azov-Black Sea branch adds TSHD Sommers to its fleet
17:43 Boluda Towage Europe takes on two new tugs from Damen Shipyards Group
16:49 Investors set to inject in excess of RUB 19 bn in federal port infrastructure facilities development
15:44 MoD eyes placing more orders for the Steregushchiy class corvettes with Amur Shipyard
15:17 Joint R&D Starts for Use of Ammonia in Marine Transportation to Reduce GHG Emissions
14:47 CMA CGM announces PSS from Asia to North Europe
14:21 MST wins contract for building 19m high-speed patrol craft duo for the Royal Navy
14:03 MOL issues an update on the Capesize bulker "Wakashio" aground off Mauritius
13:20 Port of Kiel constructs the new port apron
12:01 THE Alliance announces COVID-19 response measures for September 2020
11:57 Northern Sea Shipping acquires the MV Siyaniye Severa
10:36 LNG vessel completes 10,000th Neopanamax transit at the Panama Canal
10:02 Crude futures prices continue upward trend
09:32 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 11
09:00 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 12

2020 August 11

18:07 Saigon Newport chooses Kalmar Essential Terminal Tractor for Cat Lai Terminal
17:43 Global Industry Alliance developes Just In Time Arrival Guide
17:36 Maersk Tankers hires Eva Birgitte Bisgaard as its new Chief Commercial Officer
17:00 CMA CGM announces PSS from Asia to North Europe
16:35 NORDEN adds 2 vessels to the existing newbuilding contract with NACKS
16:22 Murmansk Sea Fishing Port’s handled volumes in Jan-Jul dropped 12.7%
15:34 PETRONAS Research joins FASTsubsea’s subsea pump development
15:18 SCF Group's Igor Tonkovidov: Shipowners’ ability to compete with each other will be increasingly determined by their readiness to adopt advanced technologies
14:03 Houlder wins contract for Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s new purpose-built vessel
13:39 IMO assists in MV Wakashio oil spill response
13:11 Cameron LNG Train 3 begins commercial operation
12:56 Seven-month crude exports via CPC Marine Terminal fell 1.4%
12:29 Port of St. Peterburg Captain releases new allowable drafts in Greater Port St.Petersburg basin
12:05 The Standard Club issues Guidelines for the use of electronic record books (ERBs) under MARPOL
11:08 Port of Ust-Luga based Multipurpose Reloading Complex steps up its efforts to protect the environment
11:04 Transhipment in North Sea Canal ports down by more than 10 percent due to coronavirus crisis
10:31 CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal launches new direct services to Europe and Indian Subcontinent
10:15 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 11