Rolls-Royce and global towage operator Svitzer have successfully demonstrated the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen harbour, Denmark. Earlier this year, one of Svitzer´s tugs, the 28m long Svitzer Hermod, built in Turkey at one of Sanmar’s custom built, modern tug building yards, safely conducted a number of remotely controlled manoeuvres. From the quay side in Copenhagen harbour the vessel’s captain, stationed at the vessel’s remote base at Svitzer headquarters, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, undocked, turned 360°, and piloted it to the Svitzer HQ, before docking again.
Svitzer Hermod, is of the highly successful Robert Allan Ltd RAstar 2800 series design, nominated by Sanmar as its Terminal class. However, a number of modifications to the standard class were incorporated to meet this customer’s operational needs and other preferences. These include changes to the propulsion equipment, tank capacities, air-conditioning/heating, external fire-fighting arrangements and the addition of IHM (Inventory of Hazardous Materials) notation. Special care was also given to resilient mounting of all engines and essential equipment including hydraulic pipes and insulation of all zones. Sound level measurements have been made in all areas and are well below the contract limit.
Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine who witnessed the event said; “It was an honour to be present at what I believe was a world first and a genuinely historic moment for the maritime industry. We’ve been saying for a couple of years that a remotely operated commercial vessel would be in operation by the end of the decade. Thanks to a unique combination of Svitzer’s operational knowledge and our technological expertise, we have made that vision a reality much sooner than we anticipated.”