Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi: “Spend money on research and development to start the process of digitalisation” (credit: Seatrade)
United Arab Emirates’ maritime sector needs to invest in digitalisation technology to survive the downturn in offshore markets. This was one of the conclusions from Abu Dhabi Ports chief executive Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi.
He said UAE vessel operators, shipyards and builders need to “take advantage of technology growth and spend money on research and development to start the process of digitalisation”.
This could result in operational efficiencies, improved business and better recruitment of future generations of seafarers and shipyard workers in the Middle East.
“We need to lead these developments, to focus on the future and embrace change as technology will drive the future of this industry,” he said at Seatrade Offshore Marine & Workboats Middle East conference.
Abu Dhabi Ship Building was investing in digital technology and recruited new blood into its shiprepair and building business. Its chief executive Khaled Al Mazrouei said technology developments helped this company recruit 44 new shipyard workers in the last year.
Abu Dhabi Ports’ marine operations contractor Safeen has invested in technology to improve operations and help with crew recruitment, said Safeen chief marine services officer Capt Maktoum Al Houqani. He also said there was interest in using autonomous tugs in the future.
“We are following this trend and contacted a design company for operating an unmanned tugboat,” he said. It is thought this company was Robert Allan, which has designed an unmanned tug.
Topaz Energy & Marine has introduced digitalisation and offshore communications technology on its vessels to improve crew welfare and business operations.
“We needed to have the platform in place and the right partner,” Topaz chief executive René Kofod-Olsen told Marine Electronics & Communications on the sidelines of the conference. “Now we have captains and chief executives using this platform and it is really working as we deliver on our technology adoption,” he explained.
Topaz is connecting its fleet of up to 110 vessels to this digital platform using Orange Business Services’ Maritime Connect solution, which includes VSAT, L-band backup, onboard wifi and links to coastal cellular networks. It is also working with ABS Nautical Systems on fleet management programs.