Monday, July 15, 2024
Maritime Propulsion

June 13, 2024

Kongsberg Maritime Gains Approval to Move Chief Engineer Role to Shore

Source: Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime has received Approval in Principle from classification society DNV to enable a key role to be transferred from a ship to a shore-based control center.

The move will enable the role of Chief Engineer to be located in a Remote Operations Centre (ROC), where the duties can be carried out from a desk-based workstation, instead of onboard a vessel.

From the workstation, the Chief Engineer will be able to monitor and control systems including the Power Management System, ballast water system and deck machinery on three vessels. They are the world’s first fully electric container vessel Yara Birkeland; and a pair of electric barges operated by Norwegian grocery retailer ASKO, named Marit and Therese.

Full approval for what’s known as ‘Chief-to-Shore’ functionality is expected to be granted later this year, once a period of testing has taken place, overseen by DNV and the Norwegian Maritime Authority. It is a step that can help address the industry-wide shortage of seafarers and make vessel operations safer and more efficient, says Kongsberg Maritime.

Pål André Eriksen, Kongsberg Maritime, SVP Remote & Autonomous Solutions, said: “The journey towards autonomous, and uncrewed operation of vessels is defined by a set of increments. To get there, we must take each step in-turn and prove the functionality and value before moving to the next. The role of Chief Engineer is one which already involves a lot of monitoring of automation and control systems on board. For this trial, moving this functionality to the shore-based ROC will see one person now managing a range of systems across three vessels, rather than one. This is a significant and exciting realization.”

Testing will be conducted this summer and will involve the shore-based technician managing a number of tasks on three vessels, all managed remotely from shore. From the ROC, an ‘aggregated view’ of the three vessels will be visible at all times, and if an issue arises or an intervention is required on one of the vessels, the system will manually switch to ‘high attention mode’ focusing operator attention where support is needed.

Alongside the Chief Engineer, other crew members, such as the Master and Navigator, will remain on the vessels throughout the tests, and in constant contact through radio and CCTV connections, until full approval of the Chief-to-Shore functionality has been granted.

During the qualification process Kongsberg Maritime will be following DNV’s class guidelines for Autonmous and Remotely Operated Ships (DNV-CG-0294) and Remote Engineering Monitoring and Control Systems (REMC), prior to full approval being granted.

The ROC in Horten, Norway, is a facility managed by Massterly, a joint venture between Kongsberg Maritime and Wilhelmsen. The ROC was recently expanded to five workstations to meet customer demand.