VDES by satellite to strengthen the maritime sector in West Africa – ShipInsight
As part of an ambitious plan to strengthen Ghana as a maritime precursor in West Africa, the commercial satellite operator Sternula has just concluded a new partnership with the Ghana Maritime Authority. With the new partnership, the satellite VDES will be used to improve navigation and safety-related objectives in Ghanaian waters.
The Danish commercial satellite operator, Sternula, has just signed a partnership agreement with the Ghana Maritime Authority. The new agreement is part of a strategic sectoral cooperation between Danish and Ghanaian maritime authorities and aims to strengthen the maritime sector in Ghana and West Africa.
Specifically, the Ghana Maritime Authority will use Sternula’s market-leading electronic navigation connectivity service – a VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) solution – enabling reliable and accurate maritime navigation warnings to seafarers. by local authorities, while improving safety in Ghanaian waters.
âNaturally, we are very satisfied with the new agreement which will contribute to the positive maritime development of Ghana. Almost 90% of West Africa’s trade is handled by sea, so we see great potential in implementing our electronic navigation satellite technology to boost the entire Ghanaian maritime sector â, said Lars Moltsen, CEO of Sternula.
As one of Africa’s leading maritime nations, Ghana is increasingly attracting merchant traffic in and around the country’s largest ports. Therefore, it has become of government interest to integrate new technologies to improve the safety as well as the efficiency of maritime trade and transport along the Ghanaian coast.
âIn line with our ambitious goals, today we are concluding a Memorandum of Understanding with the leading Danish satellite supplier in the field of advanced micro-satellites. This marks the start of a new partnership that could lead to the deployment of cutting edge technologies in our maritime field, âsaid Ghana Maritime Authority Director General Thomas Alonsi.
âUnder the agreement, the Ghana Maritime Authority will test Sternula’s VDES solution to send reliable and accurate Maritime Safety Information (MSI) warnings to mariners by local authorities to improve the safety in our waters. This, it is envisaged, will help Ghana to get a more precise and precise idea of ââthe traffic in our waters, which – in these times of maritime insecurity – is an urgent necessity, âhe added.
As the maritime sector is increasingly digitalized, interest in so-called e-Navigation, including VDES, has increased. Recently, IMO launched an e-navigation implementation plan strategy in which digital solutions will play a key role in improving maritime objectives:
âThe implementation plan for the electronic navigation strategy was formalized under the IMO several years ago. VDES is a new communication technology and a key element in the realization of e-Navigation. This will help Danish and Ghanaian maritime authorities to interact with ships in our waters for various purposes, such as stopovers and distribution of critical information without the need for internet on board ships, âsaid Christopher, project coordinator. to the Danish Maritime Authority. Saarnak, said.
Sternula is currently building the world’s first VDES satellite network, which will be commercially available to marine service providers and authorities. VDES is a new communication technology based on the capabilities of the well-known AIS technology, which supports the development of electronic navigation solutions. As an extension of AIS technology, VDES is expected to become mandatory under SOLAS. Therefore, maritime countries, like Ghana, should start to adapt to future technologies:
âGhana is an excellent example of a leading maritime nation in its region that urgently needs to implement the services defined by SOLAS in a sustainable manner. As technological advancements continue and regulatory standards change, more countries need to embrace digital development to ensure sufficient infrastructure backbone in the maritime area. This shows that the digital transformation has no intention of slowing down, âconcluded Moltsen.
It is supported by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA): âIALA works to harmonize aids to navigation and helps coastal countries implement IMO and IALA standards. IALA has been actively working on the standardization of VDES, which we see as a technology that makes it easier for maritime authorities to claim compliance with these standards, âsaid Omar Frits Eriksson, IALA / IALA Deputy Secretary General.