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Columbia River Bar Pilots (November 2012)

The Columbia River Bar Pilots were established in 1846 to ensure the safety of ships, crews and cargoes crossing the treacherous Columbia River Bar, which is recognised as one of the most dangerous and challenging navigated stretches of water in the world. The volume of water flowing from the Columbia River and the force of impact with North Pacific storms combine to create daunting sea conditions. Successful passage grants access to many inland ports, where economic transportation of goods between the US Pacific Northwest and the world averages about 40 million tons of cargo valued at $23 billion each year.

OMC International performed a number of studies for the Columbia River Bar Pilots during 2011 and 2012 including measurement and analysis of the motions of 24 vessels crossing the Columbia River Bar in moderate to high seas. Efficiently and safely measuring ship motions under such trying conditions was made possible by OMC’s development of the iHeave device – originally developed specifically for the Columbia River Bar winter measurement campaign.

In November 2012 OMC established a web-based trial DUKC® system for evaluation by the Columbia River Bar Pilots.

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Rio Tinto, Mistaken Island (2012)

In 2012, OMC International delivered a DUKC® for Rio Tinto’s Dampier Salt operations at Mistaken Island.

The DUKC® will be used to assist in determine maximum sailing drafts and increasing departure windows for panamax vessels. By applying surveyed depths and calculating the ship’s motions based on the conditions of the day and the unique vessel and transit details, the DUKC® is able to increase sailing drafts over the static under keel clearance rule in most conditions, thereby providing higher tonnage throughput and reduced dead freight.

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Rio Tinto, Cape Lambert (2011)

After many years of successful operation at the port of Dampier in the Pilbara, Rio Tinto commissioned a desk study to evaluate the potential benefits of implementing a DUKC® at their nearby Cape Lambert iron ore export facility.

Following the results of the desk study, the DUKC® implementation was approved and commissioned in 2011 following a full scale vessel motion measurement campaign to valid the squat and wave response modelling. The DUKC® is used to safely maximise the draft of vessels, which depart on high waters.

With a current capacity of approximately 80 million tonnes, Rio Tinto is further expanding the port with the development of a new wharf and four new berths. The DUKC® is being configured to include this expansion. Throughout the design phase, OMC International has worked closely with Rio Tinto, undertaking channel design and accessibility studies to optimise the channel profile, thereby maximising the value of each dredging campaign.

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Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Torres Straits (June 2011)

Following an open tender process, OMC International (“OMC”) was selected by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (“AMSA”) to install and maintain an Under Keel Clearance Management (UKCM) System in 2009 for use by ships in transit through the international waters of Torres Straits.

The waters of Torres Straits present strong tidal and current gradients, complex morphology including sand waves and bathymetric uncertainties.   

AMSA’s decision to implement the UKCM in the Torres Strait aimed to deliver enhanced safety and efficiency of navigation through provision of a system for more accurate predictions of UKC thereby mitigating the risk of grounding within these pristine environmentally sensitive waters which are so critical for the Australian and international maritime industry.

OMC installed and validated the UKCM system through full scale vessel motion measurements and trained AMSA staff, VTSO operators, shippers and pilots in the operation of the system.  The system was commissioned and accepted for operational use by AMSA in June 2011.  OMC has provided on-going operational services including support, help desk and maintenance services.  AMSA has worked very closely with OMC in analyses of the hydrographic soundings in defining and fine tuning the UKCM channel, including promulgation of a deep draft channel within the existing Prince of Wales Channel.

The UKCM enables users to access only the self-contained modules relevant to their specific needs, whether it be long-term voyage planning, real-time onboard pilotage applications, or monitoring of numerous vessels in real-time within a vessel traffic service (VTS) environment. There are a large number of simultaneous users in geographically spread locations and the UKCM provides authorised users worldwide under keel clearance related tasks via the web.

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Port of Melbourne Corporation (June 2009)

The Port of Melbourne is Australasia's largest and one of the world's top 50 container ports. The combination of heavy swells, strong currents, complicated bathymetry and hard bottom makes the restricted, treacherous entrance into Port Phillip Bay one of the most difficult pilotage challenges - and technical challenges for UKC prediction anywhere on earth. Having the safety of this system proven in these extreme waters shows that DUKC® technology is suitable for even the most challenging waterways worldwide. In Melbourne, huge long swells up to 5m significant wave height, combined with currents up to 6 knots on the ebb (which occurs at low water), cause even ships in excess of 250m in length to plunge several metres downward in extreme conditions. All pilots have been equipped with DUKC technology, accessed from their portable pilot units, and the system has also been integrated into Melbourne's two VTS centres.

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Waterways and Shipping Authority Bremerhaven / Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Bremerhaven (May 2009)

The DUKC® system has been installed along the outer and lower Weser River in north-west Germany. It covers the estuary port of Bremerhaven as well as ports on the lower reaches of the river at Nordenham and Brake with links to the DUKC® system at Bremen. This system was implemented to improve the safety and efficiency for large container ships and bulk carriers moving along the river, particularly through its more shallow sections.  It is currently been trialled for evaluation by WSA.

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Port of Weipa (October 2008)

The Port of Weipa is located on the north-west coast of Cape York Peninsula, approximately 700km north west of Cairns. Weipa exports over 20 million tonnes of bauxite (alluminium ore) from a nearby mine as well as transfers of fuel and general cargo. The bulk carrier ship loading facilities are located at Lorim Point.

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Port Kembla Ports Corporation (October 2008)

The Port of Port Kembla is located on the east coast of Australia and is the closest specialist industrial port to Sydney, Australia's largest market. Traditionally, the port handles bulk goods and commodities such as iron ore, coal and grain. Currently, the port is undergoing major expansion that will see general and break bulk cargoes, containers and vehicle handling becoming increasingly more important.  During an initial 6 month trial at Port Kembla, the OMC DUKC® system demonstrated that it would markedly enhance safety during high swell events, which occur in the entrance channel to the port particularly during the winter months.

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Port of Lisbon / Porto de Lisboa (August 2007)

The Port of Lisbon is located between the River Tagus and the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Portugal in Europe.  As one of the main ports to the Iberian Peninsula, the port specialises in the handling of containerised cargo and solid bulk agricultural foodstuffs.  The OMC supplied system operates primarily as an aid to navigation for deep draft container vessels.  This arrangement with the Port of Lisbon has enabled OMC to set up a presence to manage the company’s prospects and growth in Europe.

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Port of Brisbane Corporation (July 2005)

The Port of Brisbane is located in the mouth of the Brisbane River in Queensland. Trades include import/export container ships, crude oil tankers and bulk carriers. The port is accessed by approximately 80km of channel through Moreton Bay. The northern channels can be subject to severe swells which induce significant vessel motions.

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Newcastle Port Corporation (January 2005)

The Port of Newcastle, located at the mouth of the Hunter River, is the economic and trade centre for the resource rich Hunter Valley and for much of the north and north-west of NSW. It is the worlds largest coal export port, with over 3000 shipping movements annually handling cargo in excess of 80 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), of which coal represents more than 90% of the throughput tonnage. There are tidal restrictions on deep draft vessel movements to and from the Port. This situation is complicated by irregular exposure to severe ocean swells at the port entrance.


Marsden Point, Port of Whangarei (March 2004)

The Port of Marsden Point is located in the north west of the north island of New Zealand. The primary trade is import tankers carrying crude oil. The port approach channels can be subject to severe swells which induce significant vessel motions. OMC was contracted to provide a DUKC® system for safety reasons in 2003 following the grounding of two fully laden 100,000DWT oil tankers entering the Port under high swell conditions.

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Port of Geraldton (January 2004)

The Port of Geraldton is located in Western Australia’s mid-west, approximately 400km north of Perth.

Geraldton is primarily a bulk import/export port with trades including grain and minerals. The port approach channels can be subject to severe swells which induce significant vessel motions.

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Port of Napier (February 2003)

Port of Napier is one of twelve ports handling New Zealand’s international trade. It is a breakwater harbour situated on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the heart of the productive Hawke’s Bay region. In the winter swells predominantly approach the harbour from the south east, whilst in the summer north easterly swells can be experienced. The swells are diffracted / refracted by the Pania Reef and focus on the vessel beam as it approaches the harbour entrance.

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Port Taranaki (January 2002)

Port Taranaki is one of twelve ports handling New Zealand’s international trade and the second largest export port by volume. It is a small breakwater harbour situated on the West Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, halfway between Auckland and Wellington serving the business of the city of New Plymouth and the surrounding area.

With the swell waves generally approaching the main breakwater from a north westerly direction and being diffracted/refracted by the end of the main breakwater vessels receive beam seas throughout their turn into the harbour and so can experience significant rolling and pitching increasing their effective draft during this passage.

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Bunbury Port Authority (September 1996)

The Port of Bunbury is located in the South-West of Australia. Port trades includes imports and exports of bulk materials including minerals, alumina and petroleum products.

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Port of Dampier (Pilbara Iron) (December 1995)

Pilbara Iron utilise the DUKC® system to assist in the export of iron ore (approximately 112,000,000 tonnes p.a., vessels to 250,000 dwt). Pilbara Iron have also used the DUKC® system to minimise capital dredging operations. The transit through the Pilbara Iron channel is relatively sheltered from swell induced vessel motions, thus Manoeuvrability Margin is most often the controlling parameter for vessel UKC.

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Port Hedland Port Authority (1995)

Port Hedland is located on the North-West coast of Australia and exports approximately 100 million tonnes of iron ore each year. The Port can be subject to cyclones from December through to March and long-period swells from storms in the Southern Oceans in winter. During these events, the DUKC® system offers added safety to shipping operations.

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Fremantle Port Authority (March 1994)

The Port of Fremantle is located in the South-West of Australia. Port trades include imports of crude oil, exports of alumina as well as a busy container trade. The port consists of an inner and an outer harbour. There are three main deep draft approach channels to the port.

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Port of Hay Point (March 1993)

The Port of Hay Point is located on the North-East coast of Australia. Hay Point is one of the largest coal export ports in the world. The port consists of two offshore loading terminals comprising a total of five berths. The berths are located 4km offshore and are subject to rough seas.

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