• 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 Combined with the fact that conventional guard vessels are mostly outdated and thus aren’t necessarily the most comfortable let alone sustainable, it can be difficult to find well-trained crew willing to do the job.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 11

09:08 Average spot market price for Russian M100 product soars to 11,582 rub/mt

2020 August 10

17:20 HMM joins forces with CMA CGM on TTI Algeciras operation
17:19 Commercial Port of Vladivostok's seven-month container volumes rose 8.1%
17:12 APM Terminals to acquire ALC´s container terminal in Aarhus
17:06 IMO sets remote meeting plan for September-December 2020
16:57 Capesize bulker “Wakashio” aground off Mauritius
16:47 Freight traffic at Russian seaports in Jan-Jul fell 2.1%
15:58 Seven-month coal throughput at Port Vysotsky falls 7.5%
14:27 Vostochnaya Verf launches Grachonok-class anti-saboteur boat (Project 21980) for Pacific Fleet
13:28 ONEGO Shipyard launches a self-propelled hopper barge "Morskaya"
13:22 IMO report on GHG finds a decoupling between trade and emissions in shipping
12:20 Anders Opedal taking over as president and CEO of Equinor from 2 November 2020
10:21 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Melia with Ausca
10:17 Containerships and APM Terminals Gijon form eco-friendly intermodal solution connecting Spain, UK and Ireland
09:31 Crude futures prices take upward trend
09:06 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 7
08:58 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug10

2020 August 9

16:21 MPA launches six next-generation patrol craft to grow its frontline capabilities
15:35 Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding prepares for Navy frigate work
14:03 NCLH reports Q2, 2020 financial results
13:27 USCG Cutter Legare offloads nearly 5,000 lbs. of cocaine, marijuana
12:49 ACBL names Mike Ellis as new CEO
11:17 POAL and ship’s master fined $432,400 for excessive speed

2020 August 8

15:32 NOAA, U.S. Navy will increase nation’s unmanned maritime systems operations
14:31 Sanmars Sirapinar commences operations in Baltic Sea
13:42 USCG accepts newest fast response cutter
12:03 SCHOTTEL propulsion for first-class expedition cruise vessels
11:18 Australia’s new icebreaker on the move

2020 August 7

18:32 Maersk revamps Europe to Middle East & Indian Subcontinent network
18:00 Rosmorport's to beef up its icebreaking fleet to 38 units in 2020
17:00 World’s first zero-emissions top handlers performing well at Port of Los Angeles
16:01 Port of HaminaKotka seven-month volume fell 16.7%
15:09 Launching of Russia’s first LNG-powered passenger ship Chaika held at Zelenodolsk Shipyard
14:21 North Carolina Ports records year-over-year increases in Fiscal Year 2020
14:09 Cargo traffic at Port Kavkaz in January-July rose 9%
13:21 ABP invests in Port of Lowestoft to support UK Southern North Sea energy sector
13:19 Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard hosts launching ceremony for the RSD59 series MS Pola Marina
12:49 Rosmorport plans expansion of its fleet by 24 newbuilds
12:08 Jan De Nul signs contract with Dogger Bank Wind Farm
11:22 The second tanker manufactured in Azerbaijan launched for the next stage of construction
10:37 MSC’s Golden Horn service links China, Korea & Russia’s east coast
09:59 Ecochlor receives IMO BWMS Code Type Approval
09:51 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 07
09:16 Baltic Dry Index as of Aug 6
09:12 Crude futures prices turn down again

2020 August 6

19:00 FSL Trust agrees to sell three containerships
18:27 Sumitomo Heavy Industries has been granted an “Approval in Principle” for a medium-size high-pressure LNG dual-fueled tanker
18:21 Port of Rostov-on-Don seven-month volume rises 4% to 12.7 million tonnes
18:07 ICTSI 1H2020 net income down 12% to US$113.4mln
17:26 Royal IHC awarded major contract for supply of FPSO equipment for Yinson
17:25 Vodohod’s newbuild Mustai Karim arrives at Saint Petersburg
16:36 Nevsky Shipyard launches the Pavel Leonov, last ship of PV22 series duo
16:15 North Sea Port, Flemish Waterways plc, Port of Antwerp, Port of Oostende, Port of Zeebrugge, the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services, and the Joint Nautical Management to introduce SWINg in 2021
15:43 Zelenodolsk Shipyard to host tomorrow launching and keel-laying ceremonies
15:41 Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships Port Network was established in Singapore
14:27 MABUX Bunker Weekly Review
13:54 Tolyattii bound heavylift project cargo successfully handled at Port Bronka
13:27 Alaska Marine Lines rail barges upgrade ballast systems
12:46 Davie confirms polar leadership with icebreaker launch
12:35 Transit container transport by RZD network soars 30% in Jan-Jul