A new simulator facility at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland will provide offshore operators with advanced and customized training for the supply and support of offshore facilities and production platforms.
The Hibernia Offshore Operations Simulator Facility was made possible by donations of $4.4 million from the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) and $750,000 from the provincial government’s Infrastructure Funding Program. The Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, is providing more than $1 million to the Marine Institute (MI), which mainly supports the simulator, and also includes smaller components related to helicopter safety training, and planning and design components related to MI’s Holyrood Marine Base.
“Fisheries and Marine Institute programs have been instrumental to the growth of our vibrant economy,” said Kevin O’Brien, minister of advanced education and skills. “With contributions from provincial and federal governments, and the generous support of Hibernia Management and Development Company, the purchase and installation of this new simulator is another example of how our post-secondary institutions continue to provide innovative training and world-class research opportunities to better equip workers in our oceans industries.”
The Marine Institute’s Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS) will train new and existing personnel at the Hibernia Offshore Operations Simulator Facility in complex tasks, such as positioning and mooring of offshore structures, supply transfers, iceberg management, seismic surveys and subsea operations. The simulator will also be used to rehearse operations and develop and evaluate procedures as part of risk assessments.
“Creating jobs and securing economic growth remains our government’s top priority,” said Rob Moore, regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador and minister of state (ACOA). “Through this investment in the Marine Institute, we are supporting innovation that strengthens strategic growth industries in Newfoundland and Labrador such as ocean technology and oil and gas, while enhancing research and skills development in these sectors.”
”Creating a learning environment that simulates Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore conditions will enhance our overall approach to safety,” said Jamie Long, president of HMDC. “This simulator will better prepare our workforce for the conditions they encounter offshore, and ensure they have the ability to practice operations in a controlled environment.”
The new simulator, to be constructed on the Institute’s Ridge Road campus, will complement the wide range of marine and offshore training simulators currently housed at CMS.
The facility will include a motion platform that replicates a wide range of conditions at sea, a visualization system and an instructor station. The simulator will also replicate vessel vibrations and realistic visual representations of offshore operations in real-time.
“Working safely and efficiently in our harsh environment is paramount in our east coast offshore industry. Simulation training helps vessel crews build their experience and confidence to deal with some of the toughest problems they can face offshore,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). “This new facility will be an important resource as our offshore industry grows and demands highly skilled personnel to operate offshore support vessels.”
The facility will also enable the CMS to continue spearheading research in the areas of equipment design, ice navigation, technology transfer, and simulation development with the aim of making offshore operations safer and more efficient.