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Three key industry stakeholders – the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) – have announced the establishment of the International Diving Industry Forum (IDIF) “to reduce and control the risks associated with energy industry diving operations carried out anywhere in the world”.
A spokesman said it is intended that the Forum will: bring leading industry stakeholders together in a collaborative, constructive effort to promote international energy industry diving safety; provide a specialist forum for discussions, sharing ideas and experiences, and for targeting themes for improving diving safety; facilitate effective communications between the leading diving industry stakeholders; support and promote the leading industry associations in their efforts to develop and maintain appropriate international guidelines for the safe conduct of energy industry diving operations; support the leading industry associations in their efforts to develop and maintain a standardised approach to the safe conduct of energy industry diving operations; and facilitate ongoing improvement in international energy industry diving safety.
IMCA’s diving manager, Bryan McGlinchy, said: “This is the first time that a balanced cross-industry forum has been specifically set up to work collaboratively on energy industry diving safety issues.”
He added: “The aim is for the Forum to identify noteworthy problems and produce solutions that are fully endorsed by all three leading trade associations. I am convinced the Forum will achieve great things and I am very excited about the prospect of working closely on important diving safety issues with such a wide range of deeply knowledgeable and experienced industry colleagues.”
A 10-member Working Committee will manage the affairs of the Forum. The Working Committee chairman will be the chairman of the IOGP Diving Operations Safety Committee (DOSC), whilst the office of Working Committee vice-chairman will alternate, by agreement, between the chairman of the IMCA Diving Division Management Committee (DDMC) and a Working Committee representative of the ADCI.
The inaugural meeting of the IDIF took place recently in New Orleans, USA, where it was agreed that the first tasks for the Forum would be to help prepare definitive industry guidance on ship husbandry and assist with the revision of the IMO Diving Instruments.
Detailed terms of reference for the IDIF have been developed to facilitate its work. These can be found on IMCA’s website at www.imca-int.com/idif.
Rovco has expanded its international reach after forming a local partnership with Drexel Marine Petroleum Services in Egypt. The deal will see the Bristol, UK-headquartered firm offer its range of subsea services to companies in Egypt, as part of a plan to increase business in the region over the next five years.
Through the strategic alliance with Drexel Marine, Rovco said it will gain access to the local market and offer its 3D and AI technologies to oil companies and offshore contractors across Egypt, Northeast Africa and the Middle East.
Brian Allen, chief executive officer and founder of Rovco, said: “Egypt is a significant growth market for the business and a region where we see a great deal of opportunities in both shallow and deep water developments. This strategic partnership allows us to take bold steps towards exporting our skills, expertise and services to meet overseas demand, as we continue to look beyond the North Sea to identify regions where we can develop our service offering and build on our industry-leading standards of quality, service and reliability.
“Drexel Marine is an organisation with a very strong reputation for client focused delivery and we believe that partnering with them will help accelerate our growth ambitions and further expand our geographical reach.”
Bassem Emam, business development director at Drexel Marine, said: “Rovco has an excellent track record for delivering challenging offshore projects across the globe. We are looking forward to working with their experienced personnel and introducing their wide range of capabilities to oil and gas companies in the region, and in turn strengthening their presence in key markets.”
UK-based Applied Acoustic Engineering (AAE) has opened its first operation in an overseas territory. The Canadian city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, became home to AAE Americas when the company moved into its new office at the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE), a collaborative, harbour-side facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector.
The COVE site features extensive marine facilities with two deepwater piers, office space, workshops and laboratories.
Long-serving AAE sales manager Gavin Willoughby has relocated to Canada as business development manager to oversee the implementation and operation of the new venture, as well as providing sales and support services to the North and South American markets.
He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Applied Acoustics to increase its market share in North America and beyond. By establishing a permanent presence in the region we will be able to provide a much more efficient service to our existing customer base there, as well as being in the perfect position to seek out and support new clients and new contracts.
“Now in our thirtieth year, it’s an exciting time for the company. With many new members of staff successfully recruited over the last 12 months and with new products and innovations firmly in the pipeline, we’re very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), based in Orkney, Scotland, has announced it will support Qingdao Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (QNLM) to develop the first wave and tidal test centre for marine energy converters (MECs) in China.
“EMEC has more than 15 years of experience in the design, build and operation of its marine energy test facilities. As a result, EMEC is now exporting its wealth of marine energy knowledge and expertise to assist other countries in establishing their own marine energy centres,” said a spokesman.
For the past seven years EMEC has worked alongside QNLM and Ocean University of China (OUC), proving support and guidance to create a test centre for marine energy converters in China. The test site will provide a model for how future test facilities will be established across China.
The test centre will be situated in the Shandong Province, south of Qingdao near Zhaitang Island. The location has ideal conditions for testing wave and tidal energy technologies, according to the spokesman.
Scheduled to be in operation by 2020, the test site will consist of two offshore sites – one for wave and one for tidal – sharing one onshore substation. Each site will be connected to Zhaitang Island’s grid via a subsea cable with a rated capacity of 200 kilowatts. Sensors and monitoring equipment for marine energy converters will also be installed, which will be directly connected and monitored.
EMEC will provide support with the design and technical specifications for the test centre, including subsea cables, connectors, substation and microgrid, as well as guidance on the data acquisition system to enable integrated environmental monitoring at the test site.
“As the only accredited marine energy test laboratory in the world, EMEC will also guide standard operating and certification procedures, and test protocols for wave energy converter performance and grid compliance,” the spokesman said.
Professor Shi, at QNLM, said: “There is a vast resource of marine renewable energy in China, but its development is still in the initial stages. We know that there is a long way to go, but by collaborating with EMEC who have the experience and expertise, we’re hoping we can make some shortcuts.
“We have been working with EMEC for nearly eight years and signed the MOU during the 4th Annual UK-China Energy Dialogue in October 2015, when our Chairman Xi visited the UK. Zhaitang Island is an ideal site for testing innovative wave and tidal devices and we hope that it will be a flagship of MECs in China, by providing a competitive test site for developers and their devices.”
UK-based CMS-Geotech reports it has agreed terms to establish a new operational site at the new marine enterprise zone in “Britain’s Ocean City” of Plymouth.
As part of a planned expansion, the company will base some of its geotechnical team and equipment and new labs in four units at the city’s Oceansgate industry hub.
Hydrographic surveying, and the roles of its practitioners, are in the midst of a paradigm shift. The development and adoption of disruptive technologies, techniques and solutions are increasing survey capacity, capabilities and productivity like never before, whilst simultaneously reducing the risks and costs involved.
Autonomous and unmanned aerial, surface and underwater survey platforms (operating either alone or in cooperative swarms; in sight or over the horizon), remote survey command and support services, and techniques such as satellite-derived bathymetry, crowd-sourced bathymetry, artificial intelligence, machine learning and forward looking sonar are revolutionising hydrographic data collection, processing, analysis and presentation.
With this in mind, The Hydrographic Society UK is organising a two-day Remote Hydrography conference at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK, on 30-31 October 2019.
Through a programme of keynote speakers, presentations and panel-led discussion forums, the conference and small accompanying exhibition will focus on the latest innovations, applications and deployments in remote and automated hydrography. It will consider how these tools are providing novel approaches, efficiencies and benefits to the commercial survey industry, as well as enhancing the exploration and mapping of the world’s seafloor, population the white spaces on charts, improvement of navigational safety and implementation of e-Navigation and autonomous shipping.
The recently released call for call for abstracts invites submissions on any subject relating to the conference theme and suggested topics. Presentations focusing on innovation or application and those featuring case studies would be of particular interest to the target audience.
Abstracts should include a title (up to 100 characters) and a 300-word synopsis and must be accompanied by a biography and head/shoulders photograph of each author. All abstracts must be submitted to email@example.com by Friday, 28 June 2019.