Abu Dhabi Ports and Gulf Marine Services (GMS) have signed a contract that allows GMS access to Abu Dhabi Ports’ Maritime Training Centre in Musaffah to provide simulator training for existing and potential liftboat masters.
The training will be the first of its kind in the GCC region and will be conducted by certified instructors from GMS, the largest provider of self-propelled and self-elevating accommodation liftboats or jackup barges in the Middle East. Initially, the training will be provided for GMS employees only and, in the near future, open for other candidates as well.
The contract covers two years and ensures GMS an annual 60-day access to the training centre’s cutting edge ship manoeuvring simulator which has been programmed with specially designed training software.
“The collaboration with Gulf Marine Services confirms our state-of-the-art facilities and service offerings for third party users and the training centre’s status as a pioneering maritime training provider in the region. The new course for liftboat masters will further add to our portfolio of training programmes which is continuously evolving according to industry demand”, says Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports.
“GMS is delighted to partner with Abu Dhabi Ports in developing the world’s first Self Propelled SESV manoeuvring and jacking simulator course. Safety of our personnel offshore is always our top priority and this excellent facility provided by our partner enhances our training and development capabilities a great deal. It allows us to repeat difficult and complex operations until the trainee is well practiced in any given scenario. Our trainee Barge Masters can process several different manoeuvres from the safety of a simulator in one day, this is not possible in the real offshore environment.” adds Duncan Anderson, CEO, GMS.
A liftboat or jackup barge is most commonly used by oil companies as an exploratory drilling platform and therefore a crucial part of the local maritime landscape. It is a mobile device that consists of a buoyant hull fitted with movable and extendable legs.
When manoeuvring the barge to the worksite at sea, the legs are up. Once it reaches the desired location, the crew jacks the legs downwards through the water and into the sea floor. This anchors the barge, which now can be raised to the required elevation above the sea surface by extending its legs.
Operating a liftboat is a challenging task that requires special knowledge, experience and expertise, including an understanding of the seafloor consistency in order to position the barge’s legs precisely and steadily.