UK: Infoterra launched AssetMonitor, a new submarine asset protection service aimed at protecting valuable underwater assets – such as electricity and telecoms cables and oil and gas pipelines – from accidental damage by anchors and fishing activity. The company has announced that the Channel Islands Electricity Grid (CIEG), a joint venture between Guernsey Electricity and Jersey Electricity, has become the first organisation to deploy AssetMonitor and will use it to protect the two 90,000 volt submarine cables that supply power and fibre optic communications from France to Jersey and onwards to Guernsey.
Damage to undersea assets due to shipping is a significant global problem, resulting in interrupted services, expensive repairs and the uncertain availability of suitable repair vessels. Current trends show that incidences of submarine asset damage are likely to increase with the deployment of offshore wind farms and marine turbines. Infoterra’s new web based AssetMonitor solution uses live shipping vessel positions and data from the shipboard Automatic Identification System (AIS) broadcast system – in conjunction with Route Position Lists for undersea assets – to generate automatic warnings if an asset may be at risk due to shipping activity.
It enables users to define protection zones around its cables or pipelines and configure rules based upon AIS data to identify vessels that may be a hazard – for example vessels that are trying to anchor or dragging anchor close to the cables. If a vessel breaks one of the rules in the protection zone, then a warning will automatically be raised in the organisation’s control room. Email and SMS messages can then be triggered, depending upon the severity of the event.
Dave Curry, Infoterra’s Product Development Manager for AssetMonitor, said “We believe if just a single incidence of undersea damage can be avoided, then AssetMonitor will have paid for itself many times over.”