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Bulgarian Naval Academy reinforces Centre with VSTEP simulators

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  • As TraPac Eyes Expansion at Port of Oakland

The Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy (NVNA) in Varna has opened the Centre for Integrated Management and Monitoring of the Coastal Zone, and contracted VSTEP for the supply and delivery of several NAUTIS simulators.

The simulation center which was inaugurated on the 6th of August 2016, by Mr. Boyko Borisov, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria had, standing at attention, the Rector of the Academy, Commodore Prof. DScBoyan Mednikarov and Deputy Chief of Educational and Scientific Activities, CaptainProf. Dr Kalin Kalinov.

Among the official guests were parliament members from the Bulgarian government,  representatives of other Bulgarian  authorities, members of the military, ambassadors and representatives of the maritime industry.

Industry watchers confirmed that the order, was sequel to positive results obtained from a NAUTIS Class A Full Mission Bridge Simulator and a RescueSimIncident Command Simulator delivered in 2014; hence the decision by Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy for choosing VSTEP again, to deliver and install a LiquidCargo Handling Simulator with Instructor Station, a NAUTIS DNV Class A Full Mission Bridge Simulator (FMBS) with 240 FOV and a NI Accredited NAUTIS DP Class A FMBS with 180 FOV including instructor stations at the new simulation centre.

In addition to the DP and Full Mission Bridge Simulators, two NAUTIS DNV Class C Desktop Simulators and two NAUTIS Class C DP Simulators were purchased for training of its Naval and Merchant Marine students.

Apart from the simulators, VSTEP also developed an innovative tool called Live Data Module (LDM) to visualize the movements of real ships taken from an AIS system or any other objects such as oil spill, Man Over Board (MOB)  or real weather sensor delivered conditions inside the simulator.

It had been successfully implemented and worked well in and around the port of Varna and the coast of Bulgaria in 3D in the simulators. With this tool, operators could now take place on the bridge of each real ship virtually, and thanks to the realistic 3D modeling of the port and the coast, which have a view in the simulator closely matching the view on the real ship, converting the simulator into a powerful operation center.

“It was a delight to see this brand new high-tech simulation centre with some of our latest products inside the beautiful old building of the Naval Academy of Varna. It shows the clear vision and dedication of the Commodore and Vice-Commodore in the area of modern Coastal Zone Monitoring Operations and Maritime Training”, indicated the VSTEP CEO, Pjotr van Schothorst, a view affirmed by even also the Rector, Commodore Prof. DSc Boyan KirilovMednikarov, Rector of Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy: “Nowadays we provide education and training to national and international students, naval cadets, and we provide post-graduate training abroad too. We are very satisfied with the latest delivery of cutting edge NAUTISsimulators and our existing partnership with VSTEP B.V. This allows us to implement in our education and training the latest technologies in maritime simulation.

“With this cooperation and the recently delivered simulation complex we are about to sign a framework agreement for establishing a “Joint Developer Centre” at NVNA. Both parties will jointly develop front end technologies like next generation marine simulators with augmented reality training, CIC interfaces, maritime drone control and training, etc. We expect this cooperation to boost both NVNA and VSTEP to jump into the next generation of education and training of maritime specialists”, the Rector stated further.

The Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy (NVNA)is a well-known historic technical and maritime educational institution in Bulgaria, established in 1881. With its illustrious history and traditions in training sea specialists, it is one of the symbols of Varna and Bulgaria in the world maritime community. At present, the Academy trains specialists for both Navy and merchant marine in all areas of maritime life.

In the meantime, with the aim to nearly double the size of its container terminal at Californian Port of Oakland, terminal and stevedore operator TraPac has reached a 14-year lease agreement to get additional 57 acres and two vessel berths on the port’s Outer Harbor.

TraPac disclosed its plans at a meeting of Oakland’s Board of Port Commissioners on October 13, 2016. The proposed lease agreement with the port becomes final if the Board approves it at a meeting on October 27, 2016.

TraPac handles 20% of the containerized cargo moving through the Port of Oakland. It manages two vessel berths and 66 acres of land.

Under the new agreement, TraPac would have four berths and 123 acres and much of the land would be used for cargo handling, according to the Port of Oakland.

TraPac began Oakland operations in 1991 and, apart from the terminal in Oakland, manages facilities in Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Florida.

According to the port, TraPac will invest to upgrade and modernize the new terminal acreage under its control in Oakland.

Additional report from World Maritime News

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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