March 28, 2024
Pictured: an illustration of the Full mission bridge at Svitzer Australia's Newcastle simulator. Graphic credit: Svitzer Australia.

Construction underway for new Svitzer Newcastle maritime training simulator centre

By Industry Contributor

Civil construction has started on a new training simulator building at Svitzer Australia’s Port of Newcastle tug base, which will deliver enhanced maritime training capabilities to the East Coast of NSW.

Svitzer is investing in state-of-the-art Kongsberg Digital maritime simulators in support of crew training and other marine applications.

The start of construction signals the next major milestone toward delivering a training centre of excellence for the deployment of Svitzer’s innovative, new TRAnsverse tug vessels – forecast to enter service in Newcastle in 2025 (the second and third to be deployed in the world).

Svitzer Australia Chief Operating Officer, David Phillips, said the new simulator and training facilities were a demonstration of Svitzer’s ongoing investment into world-class towage and maritime infrastructure across Australia and commitment to upskilling and training Australian seafarers.

”We are excited to see construction underway for a facility that will provide the latest and most advanced maritime training and technology for pilots, tug masters, and other vessels. As the country’s largest private employer of Australian seafarers, we recognise the important role we play in maritime skill development and using the next generation of technology to train and upskill the next generation of seafarer,” Mr Phillips said.

“There will be further opportunities to connect the simulator in Newcastle with other simulators around Australia and the world, pioneering Pilot/Master integrated training, as well as several other training and familiarisation needs. This includes applications such as emergency response training and for emerging industries such as offshore wind development and beyond.”

Local builders and contractors are being engaged to deliver the construction project in Newcastle, including for design, civil and electrical works. Svitzer has also made its first staffing  appointment for the facility with experienced Newcastle Master, Ben Holder, coming on-shore as Training Master for the facility.

Ben will act as a key leader in the introduction of the new TRAnsverse tug, including supporting familiarisation and training needs, and helping Svitzer maximise the capabilities of the Simulator  and tug. Svitzer will provide further information regarding the build completion and opening for the Simulator facility in coming months, and opportunities for shared training and familiarisation.

According to Svitzer, the TRAnsverse tugs are a new design, created in collaboration with naval architects and marine engineers, Robert Allan Ltd.

Svitzer describes the tugs as a a revolutionary tug design that will “set a new standard in tug efficiency, power and manoeuvrability, and deliver an estimated 10-15% reduction in fuel use compared to other tugs on the market. The new tugs will be built to a specification that also enables biofuel operations bringing tank-to-wake carbon emissions to zero. The TRAnsverse tug’s omnidirectional hull form, in combination with its unique towing staple and propulsion system, provides towage capabilities that are unmatched by other tug designs. Its design enables it to maximise the forces necessary for braking and steerage during towage, as it manoeuvres steadily in the water, and consequently without compromising safety, even at full speed range. It maintains position with lower propeller input power than tug designs where the thrusters are mounted side by side, and overall brings a significant increase in stability and freedom of movement”.

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