Marlink completes KOTC fleet wide VSAT roll-out
Marlink has completed the roll-out of VSAT connectivity across Kuwait Oil Tanker Company’s (KOTC) entire fleet of 26 tankers.
The project, completed in just three months, started in March, 2015 and the final vessel, the 2014-built MR ‘Mutriba’, was fitted and fully online by mid-June 2015, Marlink said in a release.
The contract was awarded to Marlink in January, 2015.
With easier and more cost-effective access to data and voice communication through Marlink’s Sealink VSAT services, KOTC is now able to enhance its global logistics operations.
The company says it will be able to improve arrival and departure estimates and secure the safety of vessels, cargo and crew.
A key driver for KOTC moving to VSAT was improving its on board operational communications facilities. However, the company will also make more bandwidth available for the crew.
This increased bandwidth enables KOTC to operate more efficiently and make greater use of video streaming for on board entertainment, in addition to enhancing working practices through collaboration, using high quality video conferencing facilities.
“Marlink’s experience in large-scale VSAT installation projects has supported us to upgrade our on board communication facilities quickly and efficiently,” said Bader Al Otaibi - manager, fleet engineering group, KOTC.
“All vessels are now fully operational on the VSAT network with positive effect on our business critical communication in addition to being able to provide crew with enhanced facilities to access the Internet and stay in touch with friends and family,” he added.
“Strong pre-planning and logistics in addition to great co-operation with KOTC ensured that all vessels where ready for our engineers, which helped us to achieve such a fast and efficient turnaround,” says Roger Harfouch, Marlink’s Middle East regional director. “The project schedule amounts to approximately one new KOTC vessel installed every three days.”
“Our strong presence in the Middle East based on local knowledge, hardware stock and engineering resources was also an important factor in our ability to deliver on time,” he added.
Marlink’s VSAT solution for the vessels featured three virtual local area networks (VLAN), unlimited L-band backup and automatic switching between carriers.
Bandwidth provided is in the range of committed information rate (CIR) 128/128 kbs to 512/512 kbps, with temporary upgrades up to CIR 1 Mbps also available on request, for bandwidth-heavy applications such as video conferencing.
Most of the vessels started VSAT operations with CIR 256/128 kbps.
KOTC is primarily involved in the ownership and management of tankers transporting crude oil, refined petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gases (LPG).
The line also operates a Marine Agency Branch, acting as sole agent of all tankers calling at Kuwait’s ports and a Gas Branch for the filling and distribution of LPG cylinders for local industry and domestic consumption.