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WÄRTSILÄ AND CCS ADVANCE NEXT-GEN TUG TECHNOLOGY FOR TIANJIN

WÄRTSILÄ AND CCS ADVANCE NEXT-GEN TUG TECHNOLOGY FOR TIANJIN

Monday, November 29, 2021 

Wärtsilä Voyage has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Classification Society (CCS) and Tianjin Port to advance China’s intelligent vessel technology and deploy next-generation tugboat technology at one of the world's busiest ports.

The newbuild tug will be equipped with an advanced situational awareness system to detect small objects in low visibility conditions and provide decision-making support to the crew. The project’s scope includes delivering the situational awareness technology and providing advanced digital simulators, which will enhance and expedite vessel concept testing, including intelligent and autonomous algorithm testing, training, and safety. The intelligent tug is expected to begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2023. A larger aim of the partnership is to enhance safety, productivity, and efficiency in China’s busy ports with intelligent vessels and smart sensor technology. Wärtsilä Voyage will contribute to and support CCS in developing intelligent vessels standards and guidelines for domestic vessels.

Wärtsilä Voyage will conduct systematic and human-centric user research to help optimise workflow and improve overall work performance and safety. Developing these intelligent ship standards will also involve establishing international collaboration and knowledge exchange on safety standards and best practices of such smart vessels.

Sean Fernback, President, Wärtsilä Voyage and EVP Wärtsilä, said: “The signing of this MoU is incredibly significant as it elevates our relationship with CCS and Tianjin Port Group from a traditional supplier-customer relationship and towards a deeper and long-term strategic partnership. Considering the Port of Tianjin is one of the top ten busiest ports in the world, as well as its strategic importance in China’s shipping scape, this is an excellent pilot case which opens many other opportunities for collaborations in the region.”

Asia has nine out of ten busiest ports in the world, and seven of those are in China. Increasing traffic, congestion, the unpredictability of weather conditions and emissions have become major challenges for ports worldwide. During the pandemic, vessels in Asia had a waiting time of five to seven days. All this has acted as catalysts for ports to adopt innovative technologies that help mitigate delays and disruptions. The Tianjin Port has stayed at the forefront of such technological innovations, becoming the world's first port to get approval for an autonomous driving demonstration zone with 25 unmanned electric trucks, to more recently unveiling a smart zero-carbon terminal.

“This project complements our larger vision of safer and more sustainable port operations, as well as gives us the opportunity to explore further collaborations to enhance our smart port services in the future,” said Yang Jiemin, VP Tianjin Port Group.

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