NBCC has visited the new Rolls-Royce regional training centre in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, the third centre of its kind in the world, a 8,4 million BRA investment.
Rolls-Royce Marine opened the new training centre on March 11, and several top executives from Petrobras, representatives from ANP and from companies on the Rolls-Royce client list in Brazil were present at the official opening. The training centre is the first of its kind in South America, and the third in the world, as Rolls-Royce Marine only has similar training centres in Norway and Singapore.
That alone says a lot about the current activity level in the Brazilian market, according to Fabio Henrique, project manager at Rolls-Royce Brasil, Marine Division. Currently about 100 PSVs and AHTSs with Rolls-Royce equipment are operating in Brazil, and more than 40 of these were actually built in Brazilian shipyards. Several Petrobras platforms have Rolls-Royce turbines for energy generation, and more than 15 drill ships and platforms have other Rolls-Royce equipment installed. The last two years, Rolls-Royce has invested about 100 million USD in Brazil..
“The Brazilian market is growing fast, and the same goes for demand for offshore vessels and equipment. This training centre is of significant importance to Rolls-Royce in Brazil and to the whole region, and we expect the centre to make a difference, add value and contribute to making Rolls-Royce even more attractive to the customers”, Mr. Henrique says.
On March 20, the NBCC was given a guided tour at the centre, created to better support the company´s customers in South America and attend their needs. The centre will provide a wide range of training programs, and the first three courses have been scheduled for April. The centre has the capacity to train 750 professionals a year, and Rolls-Royce has invested about 8,4 million BRA in the training centre.
Dynamic positioning (DP) systems and winch handling are among the most critical operations on board advanced offshore vessels, and perceiving the great demand from the Brazilian customers, Rolls-Royce decided to offer these training programs in Brazil.
Project manager Fabio Henrique.“We offer training to our clients who have crew and operators of Rolls-Royce equipment on board their vessels. The idea is to give them an opportunity to improve their operating skills and enable them to operate the equipment effectively and safely. A well trained operator of critical equipment equals more competitiveness in the market. An effective operation equals less cost, a higher safety and a better competitiveness. DP systems and winch handling on AHTS vessels are critical systems, where failures could imply downtime and even human risk”, Fabio Henrique explains.
According to country manager Paulo Rolim, the provision of training to our customers in Brazil is critical in ensuring their ability to maximize the value and full potential of the equipment and systems onboard their highly complex vessels.
“Getting optimal performance from the latest DP systems and deck machinery requires hours of hands on training, and doing so in a safe and cost effective training centre helps ensure crew members are better equipped to meet the real life challenges they face when out at sea, in often challenging conditions”, he said in a press statement on March 11, 2014.
Simulator training has several obvious advantages.
“In a simulator you can practice under conditions very close to reality. We can create conditions and introduce failures in the systems that the operators have to handle, without any risk at all. The place to fail is here. What the students practice here will allow them to operate the equipment more effectively when they go offshore”, Mr. Henrique says.
System maintenance and fault-finding exercises also form an important part of the courses.
“Offshore operations are very complex, and the need for qualified personnel is huge. Rolls-Royce decided to offer this kind of training to our Brazilian customers, and our simulators are among the most advanced in the world. Some students even feel the sea operation condition”, Mr. Henrique explains.
The courses and simulators have been designed in cooperation with the Offshore Simulator Centre in Ålesund, Norway, and represent the latest in bridge simulation technology. Courses are based on a mix of classroom instructions, hands on exercises in the simulators and maintenance training. A main bridge simulator with two operator chairs allows for interactive team training with a diverse array of scenario planning options to test any skill level. In addition, two dome simulators with 180 degree horizons are installed for winch training, and are designed to allow crews to hone their winch operations skills in realistic surroundings. A similar dome houses a crane simulator.
In the future, tailor-made courses for customers will probably be offered, if a customer expresses such a need.
About 130 people and several local media organizations were present for the official opening of the centre on March 11. DOF, CBO, Bravante, Solstad and Siem Offshore are among the main clients of Rolls-Royce Marine in Brazil.
“They were impressed with the training facilities and the commitment that Rolls-Royce is showing to Brazil. Our customers were also excited by the opportunity to train their crew in Brazil. Earlier they had to send people to Norway for training. Now the customers can train more people at a lower cost, and as the training is given in Portuguese, at a higher efficiency. The result is more effective operations, and this is what we are here for”, Mr. Henrique says.
In 2013, the Rolls-Royce group invested about 4,3 billion BRA in research and development around the world. The company has about 55.000 employees and is present in 45 countries.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist
Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce and Runa Hestmann