Nor-Shipping delegates get a glimpse of Wilhelmsen’s autonomous shipping plans

Nor-Shipping delegates get a glimpse of Wilhelmsen’s autonomous shipping plans

Wilhelmsen Ship Management used the Nor-Shipping platform yesterday to give its take on the future of the sector, positioning the Norwegian company as among the most technologically advanced managers in the world.

In a guided tour called Ship Management of Tomorrow WSM officials discussed autonomous shipping, hydrogen fuel and changing regulations.

Erik Lyngnes, head of HSEQ at WSM, discussed the regulatory framework surrounding autonomous shipping and how the ISM Code would need to change soon.

Attendees were also shown Wilhelmsen’s first land-based control center for autonomous ships at Wilhelmsen’s headquarters outside Oslo.

Managing director Tom Eystø from Massterly – an autonomous shipping venture between Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen – gave participants a short tour of the control center that will manage the completely autonomous and zero-emission container vessel, Yara Birkeland, when it delivers next year. This ship will sail between Yara’s Norwegian production facilities at Herøya and the ports of Brevik and Larvik by 2020. Eystø pointed out that they will sail the Yara Birkeland with a skeleton crew onboard for the first couple of years, while monitoring it from the control center. The control center can also be involved in cargo and voyage planning. The system has four fall back positions . It can continue as is or do dynamic positioning and can go to safe harbour, or drop anchor.

Hakon Lenz, vice president for Europe and Americas at Wilhelmsen Ship Management, pointed out that a common misconception in shipping is that autonomous does not necessarily mean unmanned and Wilhelmsen was working with its customers requesting varying degrees of autonomy.

Splash will be reporting from Nor-Shipping all week.

Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.

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