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Tampnet to Provide Fiber Based 4G LTE Services in the Gulf of Mexico

Tampnet Inc., the US subsidiary of the Norwegian-based leading offshore high capacity and low latency communications provider Tampnet AS (“Tampnet”), recently announced the closing of its acquisition of Broadpoint LLC (“Broadpoint”), a pioneer within offshore communications to the Oil & Gas (“O&G”) industry in the Gulf of Mexico (“GoM”).

DEME Launches the World’s Most Advanced Subsea Cable Installation/Trenching Vessel ‘Living Stone’

On September 18, 2016 DEME launched the world’s most advanced subsea cable installation and trenching vessel ‘Living Stone’ at the LaNaval shipyard close to Bilbao, Spain. The launching ceremony was initiated by Mrs. Sarah Tommelein, spouse of Mr. Bart Tommelein, Vice-Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Energy.

The cable installation vessel ‘Living Stone’ is engineered with the latest innovations in its category. The vessel is equipped with two turntables below deck, each having a 5,000 tons cable capacity. Together the turntables can carry and transport more than 200 km of cable that can be installed in a single trip. Ample deck space of 3,500 m2 facilitates a revolutionary cable handling system with innovative and reliable cable handling tools for cable ends, connections and cable protection systems. Furthermore, the ‘Living Stone’ can be equipped with a third carrousel above deck with an additional load capacity of 2,000 tons and a 600 tons crane. A system developed in-house by Tideway enables the ‘Living Stone’ to install cables faster and more efficiently in longer lengths and with less offshore joints than any other cable installation vessel.

The vessel will serve transport and installation projects as well as offshore power cable installations, interconnectors for the future European Supergrid amongst others.

The ‘Living Stone’ features DP3 (Dynamic Positioning 3) capability and has been designed as an environmentally friendly vessel with dual fuel engines with LNG being its prime fuel. The ‘Living Stone’ has a Green Passport and the Clean Design Notation awarded to owners and operators who choose to design and operate their vessels in an environmentally sustainable approach.

The ‘Living Stone’ can accommodate a crew of up to 100 persons and will be deployed by DEME’s Dutch subsidiary Tideway. The unique vessel is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2017 and will head to its first project at the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany, 45 km north of Borkum in the North Sea, for the installation of inter array cables. The ‘Living Stone’ will also be deployed for the cable installation at the world’s largest offshore wind farm Hornsea Project One in the UK.


Submarine Cables and BBNJ: ICPC Publishes White Paper and Presents to the United Nations

Submarine Cables and marine Biological Diversity of areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) was the topic of discussion on Monday, 29 August 2016 during a well-attended side event held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, New York. The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) presented on the organization’s role within the ocean community and highlighted its newly published and informative white paper on the subject of submarine cables and BBNJ.

The successful side event was part of the 2nd Session of the Preparatory Committee established by General Assembly resolution 69/292: Development of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. ICPC was represented by its Chairman: Graham Evans, Vice Chairman: Nigel Irvine, ICPC’s International Cable Law Advisor: Douglas Burnett, Robert Wargo from AT&T and James Herron from TE SubCom. ICPC is grateful to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the EastWest Institute for co-hosting the event with the ICPC.

West Institute for co-hosting the event with the ICPC.

With about 45 diplomats and NGO’s in attendance, ICPC’s expert panel discussed submarine cables in relation to: the environment, cable owners, route surveyors and ship operators as well as governance of the oceans. A senior European diplomat, who attended all of the side events at the first PrepCom, was subsequently reported as saying the ICPC side event was the best so far because it, as well as the white paper, provided substantive evidence in a real factual context and not general theory for the diplomats to consider. The ICPC also supplied samples of deep water submarine cables {typically 14-22 millimeters in diameter} and answered insightful questions from attendees after its presentation.

The presenters at the workshop demonstrated how cables are environmentally neutral to benign in BBNJ area.

Interested parties are welcome to download ICPC’s white paper and full presentation.

About ICPC

The International Cable Protection Committee was formed in 1958 and its primary goal is to promote the safeguarding of international submarine cables against man-made and natural hazards. The organization provides a forum for the exchange of technical, legal and environmental information about submarine cables and, with more than 150 members from over 60 nations, including cable operators, owners, manufacturers, industry service providers, as well as governments, it is the World’s premier submarine cable organization.

Marlink Introduces Health & Safety at Sea Innovation with Complete Telemedicine Service

Marlink has launched XChange Telemed, an innovative new telemedicine service designed to improve the health and safety of crew and passengers at sea, while meeting new ILO/MLC and IMO/STCW labour regulations for health and medical treatment on board. XChange Telemed provides a cost-effective way for shipping companies to manage both regular and emergency medical consultations for the welfare of crew and passengers, thereby supporting the medical health of seafarers and reducing the risk of spiraling costs incurred due to medical emergencies on board.

XChange Telemed is an integrated solution that delivers instant remote medical support to vessels by doctors on shore. To ensure that crew and passengers receive fast, effective and interactive medical attention, the service includes a reinforced, vibration-proof hard-case with CE certified medical equipment, an intuitive touch-screen user interface and a HD camera. Medical equipment provided includes electro cardiograph, blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter and one or several of the following options: Otoscope, dermascope, stethoscope, glucometer and thermometer. Clear instructions and reference diagrams are enclosed to assist the remote user with data capture, viewing and sending.

Using Marlink’s global multi-band Sealink VSAT services, XChange Telemed facilitates live video medical consultations 24/7 on board and provides doctors on-shore with full, secure web portal access to patient medical data according to the strictest European medical authority standards. For the first time in a maritime telemedicine service, customers can choose between utilising remote medical assistance from compatible public Telemedical Maritime Assistance Service (TMAS) centres, an appointed doctor or a private medical organisation.

According to an article published in International Maritime Health[1], the average cost of a vessel re-routing due to an emergency is approx. $180k (€163k). Using XChange Telemed, unnecessary diversions or helicopter evacuations could be avoided by treating crew illnesses and injuries on board with frequent follow-up by the remote doctor. While reducing down time and improving comfort for a sick or injured person on board, the service also provides traceability of the performed actions.

XChange Telemed requires no up-front investment. To ensure service continuity, hardware and software maintenance is included as part of the service, meaning that shipping companies can act on their responsibility for crew members whilst at sea by providing a highly reliable on board telemedicine service.

“XChange Telemed is a complete, fully managed telemedicine service that significantly improves and facilitates remote medical consultation by providing an integrated hardware and communications platform to enable a direct, real-time link to professionals on shore,” said Tore Morten Olsen, President Maritime, Marlink. “Supporting the health of passengers and crew is vital, but in choosing XChange Telemed on our global Sealink services, shipping companies can also meet new regulations and improve insurance processes, while reducing the potential for significant unplanned costs that may arise due to medical emergencies at sea.”

Global Marine Completes Cable Installation for NEPTUNE Deep Sea Research Observatory

Global Marine Systems Limited has successfully completed a complex, subsea installation project for Ocean Networks Canada on their NEPTUNE ocean observatory off the West coast of Vancouver Island. 

An initiative of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) monitors ocean environments off the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic for scientific research, society, and industry. One of these observatories is NEPTUNE, a subsea system that comprises of an 815km loop of fiber optic cable, which connects a number of instrument sites that undertake monitoring across a wide range of ocean environments. Global Marine’s remit included the installation of four fiber optic cables with associated subsea plant on each end (mudmats).

The first phase of the project, which involved some cable recovery, was completed in October 2015; whilst the second phase that has just been completed; it presented a far greater engineering challenge. This required positioning the eight mudmats, each weighing approximately 1.8 tons with great precision in water depths ranging from 1,240 to 2,320 metres. This challenging project relied on the skill and experience of the officers and crew of the Wave Venture, who worked in combination with a second exploration vessel, Nautilus, who used its deep water ROV, Hercules, to provide touchdown monitoring of the mudmats and then connected them to the nodes and other instruments. Thanks to a high level of pre-project engineering planning and solution design, Wave Venture required only a single voyage to install the four cables and undertake some other related work.

“On behalf of Ocean Networks Canada we would like to extend a large thank you to the Wave Venture crew for their efforts and professionalism, as well as the Global Marine support team” said Ian Kulin, Associate Director, Marine Operations at ONC. “Working with the Wave Venture and the Nautilus, all planned work was completed successfully.” As a result, ONC’s top goals for 2016 were achieved.

John Walters, Director, Maintenance at Global Marine added, “This project required extensive planning by Ocean Networks Canada and Global Marine, all credit to the shipboard teams on Nautilus and Wave Venture who implemented those plans very well indeed. The outcome is testament to the versatility of Wave Venture and the North America Zone; it is not often offshore cable repair vessels are mobilized to handle mudmats and scientific nodes. We are delighted to have played our part in the reinstatement and expansion of the NEPTUNE observatory.”

Within the same voyage as the NEPTUNE cable installations, Global Marine also successfully completed an operation to reinstate connectivity to ONC’s Barkley Canyon Node under the North America Zone cable maintenance contract. This work firstly saw the Barkley Canyon spur cable recovered with the assistance of Hercules, before Global Marine experts jointed it to the 75m tail of the Barkley Canyon node, which was also on board Wave Venture having been previously recovered.

The node itself is housed inside a protective Trawl Resistant Frame (TRF), which weighs approximately 9.2 tons in total, and this was then deployed to the seabed approximately 12m from the Hydrates cable frame in 640m of water, and subsequently plugged into the node by Hercules. Next, the Upper Slope Science cable was recovered ready for ONC technicians to re- terminate. Once terminated, this was then redeployed to within the required 20m range of the node, and also plugged in by Hercules.  The successfully completed maintenance operations by Global Marine have reconnected scientific instruments, which had been out of action as a result of suspected trawl fishing activity since January 2015.

Prysmian Strengthens Its Submarine Cable Installation Capability with New Vessel

Prysmian Group, a world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, announces the readiness of its new cable lay vessel, named Ulisse, for offshore cable installation operations, following an investment of over 20 million Euro. The Group can now rely on a fleet of three world class vessels - Giulio Verne, Cable Enterprise and Ulisse - as well as its extensive range of well-proven in-house cable protection equipment to provide an extended and strengthened submarine cable installation capability.

“Our objective is to have a more comprehensive control of our supply chain by insourcing a greater part of the installation work and to further boost the Group’s submarine project execution capabilities with a flexible asset that can both transport submarine cables and perform cable lay and burial installation operations in shallow waters”, explains Massimo Battaini, Energy Projects Senior Vice President at Prysmian Group. “Thanks to this new vessel we can offer an ever wider and more versatile range of installation services, thus strengthening our position in a highly strategic sector for the Group”, he added.

Following the purchase from the ship owner EOS, the flat top barge has been converted into a ca. 120 m by 33 m cable layer at the PaxOcean shipyard in Singapore. Renamed Ulisse, she now has an eight point spread mooring system, enabling her to meet the operating requirements even in harsh environmental conditions. The vessel will be capable of transporting 7,000 tons of cable in a 30 m diameter carousel, and can be equipped with a carousel loading pick-up arm and a stern mounted cable chute for loading and surface lay operations.

The first project to be executed by Ulisse will be the Negros-Panay connection in the Philippines - awarded in December 2014 and worth a total of around Euro 90 million - which comprises the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of an HVAC (High Voltage Alternating Current) 230 kV submarine cable system, with XLPE insulation, along a 22 km submarine route across the Guimaras Strait.


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