Wärtsilä Voyage has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Classification Society (CCS) and Tianjin Port to advance China’s intelligent vessel technology and deploy next-generation tugboat technology at one of the busiest ports in the world.
The next-generation intelligent tugboat is set to go into service in the fourth quarter of 2023. The newbuild will be outfitted with a situational awareness technology that will identify small objects in poor visibility conditions and assist the crew in making decisions. The technology, however, will not be restricted to port operations alone. Wärtsilä noted that it may be used on and expanded to domestic vessels in the future.
The partnership’s overarching goal is to improve safety, productivity, and efficiency at China’s congested ports through the use of intelligent vessels and smart sensor technologies. Wärtsilä Voyage will also help CCS develop the first-of-its-kind intelligent vessel norms and guidelines for domestic ships.
“Considering the Port of Tianjin is one of the top ten busiest ports in the world, as well as its strategic importance in China’s shipping landscape, this is an excellent pilot case which opens many other opportunities for collaborations in the region,” said Sean Fernback, president, Wärtsilä Voyage and executive vice president, Wärtsilä.
“This project complements our larger vision of safer and more sustainable port operations, as well as gives us the opportunity to explore further collaborations to enhance our smart port services in the future,” said Yang Jiemin, vice president, Tianjin Port.
“CCS has already published the Intelligent Ship Rules and Guidelines to drive smart technology adoption in the ocean-going vessels. But with more than 120,000 domestic vessels in service in China, there is a need to create similar technological set-ups and standards for the inland segment as well,” stated Sun Feng, vice president, CCS.
China and Finland jointly endorse the project under the China-Finland Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation memorandum of understanding, and the China-Finland Flagship Project on Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Strategy, 2019-2023.