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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Briese Schiffahrts invests in VSAT for specialist fleet

Tue 10 Jul 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Briese Schiffahrts invests in VSAT for specialist fleet
Porthos is the first of four sisterships built for Briese at Zhejiang Zengshou Shipyard, China

Shipowner and management company Briese Schiffahrts is installing VSAT across its fleet of specialist ships to introduce real-time remote monitoring.

The Leer, Germany-headquartered owner has contracted Globecomm to install Ku-band VSAT on its existing ships and on newbuildings, which are built to carry specialise cargo including hardware for new offshore wind energy projects.

Briese Schiffahrts IT manager Holger Börchers said VSAT would make “crew and business communications simpler and more cost efficient” and will enable the owner to configure the onboard IT. “We are a company with a large fleet and a small IT department so we can use a portal to monitor ships as close to real-time as possible and respond as soon as any issues arise,” he said.

It is outfitting vessels with a combination of Sailor 900 VSAT hardware and Iridium OpenPort L-band terminals as a back-up. Each ship also has a Globecomm Nimbus network management smartbox, linked to a Cirrus shoreside portal.

Briese Schiffahrts assumed management of six craned project cargo vessels of 12,780 dwt in 2015 and 2016 and a further four vessels of this type were taken over in March and April 2018. To date, around 60% of the vessels have been upgraded to VSAT.

It is conducting a fleet renewal programme that involves constructing a series of eight ‘Open Top Eco 5000’ multi-purpose vessels, designed to consume 30% less fuel, with increased crane and cargo capacity.

The first of four ships was christened Porthos in mid-April 2018 at Zhejiang-Zengzhou Shipbuilding Co, China with three more of 90 m long, 3,415 gt, ice-class 1A ships scheduled for delivery later this year.

Another newbuilding, the project cargo carrier BBC Russia was delivered from Jiangsu Hongqiang Marine Heavy Industry, China, in April.

Globecomm VSAT is built on the IP-based iDirect Evolution platform to support automatic beam switching and access to high-throughput satellites. It will enable wifi connectivity for the crew on Briese Schiffahrt's ships. There will also be value-adding services include firewall and content filtering, email management, a prepaid crew management portal and proactive network monitoring.

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