Future applications of dynamic positioning (DP) will increase requirements for these systems when demand from offshore vessels stabilises
Vessels that are required for positioning close to any asset and interfacing with that would need DP.
DNV GL segment director for special ships Arnstein Eknes thinks future demand for DP systems will come from aquaculture and passenger shipping.
He said there had already been some installations on cruise ships. “We expect DP on ferries and cruise ships, although they may not need classed DP,” he said at Riviera Maritime Media’s European Dynamic Positioning Conference in London on 4 February.
“DP will also be needed on fish-farm support vessels and we are seeing more DP2 on shuttle tankers,” he said.
Mr Eknes anticipates acceleration in deployment of DP systems on windfarm support vessels and walk-to-work (W2W) vessels. In the long-term, DP will be required for seabed mining vessels and port vessels.
“DP is technology for remote control of semi-autonomous hybrid tugs and vessels for port operations, said Mr Eknes.
More information on the potential growth from the global offshore renewables sector, including W2W vessels, was provided during Riviera’s Offshore Wind Journal Conference, which was held in parallel at the same location on 4 February.
In the European DP conference, Guidance Marine optical technology group manager David McKnight said there was demand for DP systems and target-less laser reference sensors on LNG bunkering ships.
“LNG bunkering has similar rules as offshore support vessels,” said Mr McKnight. “Hoses go across to vessels transferring hazardous cargo, so there is need for DP systems. People are pushing for DP and this is a future for DP.”
Kongsberg Maritime DP product advisor for maritime operations Kristian Ivar Øien said DP systems on ferries will enable automatic unberthing, transit and docking. The first trial of this is on a ferry sailing between Horten and Moss in the Oslo Fjord, Norway.
“Passenger ferries is a new market for DP with autonomous operations, but with humans in the loop who are responsible for monitoring operations and can take over if there are any issues,” said Mr Øien.
He expects more application of DP for remote control of vessels from onshore control centres. “It can be a one-to-one operator station or more interestingly, one person controlling remotely multiple vessels,” said Mr Øien.
“We could have many control centres able to control many vessels that are using onboard DP functionality,” he added.
Mr Eknes agreed this could be one scenario, but he went further and thinks all manned ships would need some levels of this functionality in the future.
“We can expect some type of DP on all ships in the future for keeping vessels in position and for dockings,” he concluded.