“Sea State Verification System” – a Tool (under development) applying real time Oceanography to Marine Operations from Tender to Construction

Frans Schlack

Pilbara Ports Authority

Abstract

The Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) recently completed the last phase of its Channel Risk & Optimisation Project (CROP) utilising a Dredging Spread consisting of a large Cutter Suction Dredge and two Split Hopper Barges in a near ‘Open Ocean’ environment. The Project experienced long bouts of ‘Inclement Sea State’ in which the Dredging Spread could not operate which in turn led to significant ‘Stand By’ costs. Despite the Dredging Contractor specifying the sea state parameters its equipment could operate up to in the Contract, most of the time those parameters were not reached whilst the Dredging Spread genuinely could not operate to avoid significant damage. This situation led to the development of the prototype of the Sea State Verification System to determine in which sea state conditions Marine Equipment can work up to. Once fully developed, it is expected this System can be applied at the tender stage to ensure both Proponent and Contractor will have a system against which ‘Stand By’ claims can be evaluated and contractually managed.

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