Zetron consoles help ships navigate the Three Gorges Dam in China

Original Zetron consoles installed in 2009-10 have now been upgraded with the company’s latest console technology to aid river shipping to navigate the difficult gorges

Zetron consoles help ships navigate the Three Gorges Dam in China

A Zetron dispatch console system has recently upgraded operational communications at China’s Changjiang Three Gorges River Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).This expands and updates a Zetron system that was originally installed for the MSA in 2009-2010.

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River in the Hubei province of China. The Chinese government regards the dam as a historic engineering, social and economic success, as well as a move toward limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Its enormous significance to the Chinese economy is often compared to the effect the Panama Canal had on commercial maritime traffic in the 20th Century.

Three Gorges Dam is also the world’s largest power station, with an installed capacity of 22,500 megawatts (MW). In addition to producing electricity, the dam has increased the Yangtze River’s shipping capacity and reduced the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space.

Newly installed ship locks have increased river shipping from ten million to 100 million tonnes annually and cut transportation costs by almost 35%.

The navigation and management of shipping traffic through the gorges are overseen by Changjiang MSA. Because exports are the lifeline of the Chinese economy, and the gorges are notoriously dangerous to navigate, the MSA initially decided to install new technology that would help ensure a safe and efficient shipping environment.

They made it a priority to install the best and most thoroughly proven communications equipment available. Following an in-depth analysis of global vendors, they chose Zetron in 2009-2010 to provide communication consoles for their vessel traffic services (VTS) system. The system was successfully deployed and proved to be highly reliable, flexible and user friendly.

Due to China’s rapid economic growth, the required freight capacity increased sixfold in three years. As a result, the MSA’s VTS systems were expanded in late 2012. Because of their prior success, Zetron consoles were once again selected for this project.

‘Zetron was first chosen when the MSA was looking for a vendor with demonstrated experience and quality in mission-critical voice systems for maritime communications,’ said Mr. Zhou Meng Feng, of Yuanda Telecommunication, the company that provided systems integration for the project.

He continued: ‘As shipping traffic and demands on existing systems have increased, it was only natural to upgrade using Zetron equipment, as the previously installed consoles proved to be very reliable. In addition, the flexible Zetron GUI [graphical user interface] not only allows the console screen to represent the agency’s work flow and operations, but it can be changed as business processes evolve.’

Ranjan Bhagat, VP and general manager, Zetron Australasia, said: ‘China has become the world’s foremost exporter, and we are proud to be part of its phenomenal industrial growth. In addition to this system, we have now successfully provided Zetron console systems for 14 different MSA’s in China, and we continue to be the provider of choice for harbour masters worldwide.’

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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