Egypt: A Regional Hub for Maritime Training
From pearling shows in the Arabian Gulf to felucca sailboats plying the Nile River, ships have always played a central role in the region’s economic life. Yet, both then and now, only by mastering key maritime technologies can the full economic value of these ships be unlocked.
Today, one of the most important of these maritime technologies is dynamic positioning (DP), which lets vessels maintain a specific position, whether fixed or moving, by using propellers and thrusters to counteract the effects of wind, tides, current and waves. Often used in the offshore oil and gas industry, this highly technical solution is also used in other settings where vessels cannot be fixed to the seabed.
In Alexandria, Egypt, the AAST-GE Dynamic Positioning Center provides this training to support the Egyptian and regional offshore industry. Established by GE Marine and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT) in 2012, the center has trained close to 800 students to become certified in operating DP systems.
This makes the center a vital tool in building the skills and capabilities of Egyptian mariners and is helping drive economic growth, fueled by the offshore industry.
GE Marine and AASTMT have just announced that GE Marine has been selected to continue supplying and operating the simulators used at the center for the next five years. As part of the agreement, GE has upgraded the facility with GE Marine’s Class-A training simulator, reinforcing GE’s commitment to promoting more efficient and safe maritime operations in the Egyptian and wider regional offshore industry. The center will also be equipped with a new Class A offshore crane simulator, the first of its kind for local operators to obtain offshore crane training in the Arab world.
“GE has been a central partner from the initial stages of this training center, and they continue to play a role in ensuring the smooth upgrade of our systems. The technology that GE is providing for the training of mariners will allow us to offer a service that few other centers in the world can,” says Dr. Ismail Abd Ghafar, AASTMT President.
In order to run this Class-A simulator, the center is using GE Marine hardware and software, including its C-series Dynamic Positioning system and a simulator system. The facility now joins an elite group of only 12 centers globally that are qualified by the Nautical Institute (NI) to offer Sea Time Reduction courses. This means that trainees are credited with 30 days of “sea time” when they complete five days of intensive training in the Class-A Dynamic Positioning simulator.
With fewer days required before they can begin working, they can more quickly contribute their skills to the Egyptian maritime industry and the broader economy.
A partner to Egypt’s economic development for more than 40 years, GE has announced a US$200 million investment to build a manufacturing and training facility in Suez, Egypt. GE expects to create 500 high-value jobs for Egyptian professionals over the next five years across the transportation, aviation, energy, renewables and health-care sectors.