Wärtsilä WebVTS enhances safety at North Sea offshore installations

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Full access to vital VTS information is provided by the Wärtsilä Navi-Harbour WebVTS 5.0 software application, enhancing the operational safety of Wintershall Noordzee’s offshore installations. [Image copyright: Wintershall Noordzee]

Wärtsilä Voyage reports that it has successfully completed its first commercial installation of its Wärtsilä Navi-Harbour WebVTS 5.0 software application. The system was ordered by Netherlands-based Wintershall Noordzee B.V. to provide greater safety for its offshore installations in the North Sea.

The order was placed in first quarter 2020 and the project was finalized with full customer acceptance in November.

The WebVTS features an early warning system to avoid collisions between the offshore platforms and vessels in their vicinity. It works by providing remote access to Automatic Identification System (AIS) or Vessel traffic Service (VTS) data sources to maintain constant and full situational awareness, utilizing a standard Internet browser. The WebVTS decision support tools effectively mitigate potential marine hazards and risks. The application also supports navigational maps, traffic management tools, ship history, and works in various languages.

“Wintershall Noordzee’s North Sea offshore facilities operate in challenging sea and weather conditions,” says Manué Gerrits, Central Control Room Supervisor with Wintershall Noordzee B.V. “A high number of ships, such as ferries, fishing vessels, offshore suppliers and guard vessels, are operating in the southern part of the North Sea and transiting to the major North European ports. We therefore require the highest levels of safety for both the installations and the crews manning them. For this reason, we selected Wärtsilä’s Navi-Harbour WebVTS 5.0 software solution, the very latest available solution of its type, to enable analysis of alerts based on AIS information. This provides us with a sophisticated and reliable means of maintaining situational awareness.”

“The system makes it possible for vessels in the vicinity of the platforms to be visible, not only locally but also in Wintershall Noordzee’s Central Control Room (CCR) located in Den Helder,” says Charles Wyng, North Europe Sales, Wärtsilä Voyage. “In addition, the historical record generated by the system can be used later for playback and analysis, helping to drive continuous improvement of future operational efficiency.”

With completion of this project, Wintershall Noordzee’s early warning system has been significantly upgraded. The Wärtsilä solution features the latest technology for providing an integrated overview of the traffic situation in any area covered by existing Wärtsilä VTS or AIS monitoring systems. The delivery scope included deployment of the AIS-monitor redundant basic software, Navi-Harbour WebVTS, a VTS Information System, an AIS Network Server, an AIS Network Viewer, plus training and three years of maintenance services.

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