Bureau Veritas Marine Singapore (BV), in collaboration with PSA Marine, completed a remote marine survey for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) dual fuel PSA Marine harbor tug, PSA Aspen. Supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the project marks the first time a harbor tug registered under the Singapore Registry of Ships has undergone a fully accredited annual survey conducted remotely, without a surveyor physically present onboard the vessel.
Marine services provider and vessel owner PSA Marine has been working with classification society BV to innovate and develop new approaches for digital and remote marine surveys.
With the aid of smart mobile devices and an optimized live-streaming application, the crew on board PSA Aspen and a surveyor in BV’s Singapore office were able to conduct the annual marine survey of classification and statutory requirements. The BV surveyor conveyed instructions live, seeing and recording relevant images and real-time video, while archiving material capability for the electronic survey report.
With physical distancing measures and travel restrictions arising from COVID-19, being able to confidently rely on robust remote surveys has become increasingly important. This pilot project has demonstrated how the capability works in practice to set a template for future delivery.
Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine, said, “The innovative technologies used in the remote survey have enabled PSA Marine to complete our surveys on schedule despite COVID-19, while ensuring our harbor tugs continue serving our customers without delay or disruptions. Our staff have embraced these changes and technologies with agility and resilience.”
David Barrow, Vice-President, Bureau Veritas, Marine & Offshore explained that remote survey delivery was already an important and successful feature of the Paris-headquartered class society’s digitalization drive: “We were ready to deliver remotely and had started developing a world-wide network of remote survey centers (RSC). We can see that the pandemic has accelerated an understanding of the potential of digitally delivered services. Our work with PSA Marine, focused on delivering pragmatic digital services, is helping to ensure operational continuity while building trust and supporting innovation and Singapore’s digital transformation roadmap.”
With the ability to adapt and change being key success factors in the future of the maritime industry, BV and PSA Marine are optimistic that process automation and digital technology such as remote surveys, will increasingly be accepted and adopted as the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world.
“Remote surveying technique not only helps us to manage the COVID-19 situation, but also enhances standards of efficiency, safety and sustainability in the ship survey process. Since the onset of COVID-19, MPA has been conducting remote surveys on Singapore-registered ships,” said Goh Chung Hun, Director of Shipping/Marine of MPA. “We are encouraged to see this first remote survey for PSA Marine harbor tug and will regularly review technologies as they mature for ship inspections to be carried out in a transparent and reliable manner.”