Tankers to use ABB software at Long Beach

Jun 16 2017

Large tankers entering the Port of Long Beach, Calif will use ABB’s software to produce real-time data on keel-to-seabed clearance.

Sensors fitted to Tesoro-chartered vessels will send information to a portable surveyor box (PSB), carried by the pilot, which will verify the route to the berth.

This system will is used to continuously validate (and improve) pre-calculated motions from the online decision support system PROTIDE, which is used to calculate safe transit time windows for large tankers to enter the port.

Laden VLCCs approach the port on a draft of 20 m to 21 m with a keel clearance as low as 2 m - 3 m.
Juha Koskela, ABB’s marine and ports business managing director, said, “The maritime pilot is an ancient profession but marine software is becoming a vital tool in the modern day port. This application of ABB’s decision support system will raise the safety and efficiency of ships operating in the Port of Long Beach.”

Prior to entering the harbour, the pilot uses PROTIDE, created by Charta Software, to combine tidal, wave, route and ship data to analyse and predict the vessel’s keel clearance during the proposed transit. During transit, the pilot will board with the PSB, which is a modified laptop capable of receiving data and is used during transit to evaluate the outcome of the planning and decision-making process that was undertaken prior to the vessel’s arrival. 

By comparing the two sets of data the pilot is able to optimise the safety of the vessel and evaluate the course chosen in the route planning phase.

The accurate information provided by the PSB validates the PROTIDE outcome, which enables deeper draft ships to enter the port safely. This means that fewer tankers need to lighten before entering the harbour or to wait for the appropriate time window, ABB said.  

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