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SUBJECT: Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. provides $2.4 million to Marine Institute to advance offshore safety training and research
DATE: Jan. 24, 2011

The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland today announced a $2.4 million donation by Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) towards the installation of new, state-of-the art simulation training equipment at the Institute’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) in Foxtrap, NL.

"A commitment to safety is something we value and promote at every level," says Paul Leonard, president of Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. "Training our workers is an important component of our overall approach to safety. This investment in safety training will provide for more realistic emergency response simulations and further enhance the training our workers receive from the Marine Institute."

This outstanding contribution will have a significant and lasting impact on the safety and survival training we develop and deliver here for personnel working in our local offshore industry,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “With this investment, the Marine Institute will, once again, advance its expertise in offshore safety and survival training and offer its clients the best training and equipment available in the world.”

HMDC’s support will enable the institute to begin immediately converting its existing training pool and simulation equipment at the Offshore and Safety Survival Centre into a fully equipped environmental training theatre, bringing offshore survival training in Newfoundland and Labrador to a new level.

The enhanced facility will feature a new high fidelity helicopter underwater escape trainer (HUET) that will allow specific helicopter configurations used in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore industry to be replicated. The highly realistic, modular HUET simulator will be used to practice emergency surface evacuation drills and underwater escape techniques. A new crane, which will meet the most current international standards for personnel lifting devices, will also be installed to lift and rotate the HUET during training exercises.

Additional enhancements to potential training scenarios will be provided by the installation of an environmental simulation capability. This capability will include a wave ball to create controllable waves up to one metre, a wind machine that will generate winds up to 80 km/hr, and enhanced sound and light system to simulate the sound of helicopters and thunder and lightning as well as a rain simulator.

“The Marine Institute’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre has always worked diligently on the local and international stage for the continuous improvement in safety and survival training,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. “Our first priority is ensuring our clients and students have access to the best in safety and survival training, equipment and resources so they can feel confident in their jobs. HMDC’s investment speaks to their commitment to safety training for their personnel and to their confidence in our Offshore Safety and Survival Centre.”

The Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) delivers a comprehensive range of safety, survival and emergency response training to the offshore petroleum, marine transportation, fishing and land based industries. The OSSC works closely with industry, researchers and industry associations to improve safety technologies and practices and can design and customized courses to meet the specific training needs of its clients.

Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) is the operator of the Hibernia field which began petroleum production on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and Labrador in November 1997. HMDC is owned jointly by ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Statoil Canada Ltd. (5%).

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