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NYK Reinforces Safe Operations with the World's First Navigation System for Seas Covered with Ice

March 1, 2010
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha
Weathernews Inc.


NYK (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; president: Yasumi Kudo) and Weathernews Inc. (head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; president: Chihito Kusabiraki) have introduced the world’s first navigation system for seas covered with ice. In particular, LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers plying the waters of the Russian Far East and Sakhalin are expected to make good use of this new system, which is the first to employ live reports sent in real time from vessels in operation.
LNG produced in the Russian Far East and Sakhalin, where natural resources are abundant, is exported over the ocean to Japan. However, during the winter season, depending on sea-ice conditions, vessel hulls could possibly be damaged when calling at and departing from ports. Moreover, sea ice could possibly block a vessel’s navigation route. Therefore, it is crucial for both operation management divisions and vessels in service to share up-to-date, accurate information on weather and sea conditions for use in mapping navigation plans and making decisions on possible navigation routes, thus ensuring loading and unloading.
To encourage safer operations, the NYK Group and Weathernews have jointly developed and introduced this new system, which is based on Weathernews’ Ice Routing Service. The system enables the observation and comprehension of sea-ice conditions that could have a substantial effect on vessels navigating in such sea areas.
The new system can be monitored on the recently introduced NYK e-missions’, an integrated operation management system. Crews on operating vessels and vessel operators can access to the NYK e-missions’ which constantly monitors weather to forecast risks that may occur at harbor and on courses being sailed by vessels. The new system can also be viewed both at sea and on land.
Features of Navigation Management System for sea covered with ice
1.      Proprietary sea-ice forecast model based on satellite observation data
Using Weathernews’ proprietary sea-ice forecast model, which is based on updated weather and sea conditions as well as satellite observation data, the system analyses a range of factors including ice distribution and its cohesiveness and thickness, and then forecasts sea-ice conditions for the upcoming two weeks. The information is updated daily.
2.      Use of live reports from vessels for sea-ice forecasts
Ice reports sent from vessels are reflected in real time in the sea-ice forecast model, which can be shared with vessel operators and other NYK Group vessels in operation.
The NYK Group will continue to proactively introduce and activate effective systems to further reinforce the structure for safe operations management.
* Announced on January 26 along with “NYK Activates Integrated Operation Management System on 680 Vessels--Seamless Monitoring at Sea and on Land, Including Moored Ships”  
**Administrators on land who manage the schedules and movements of vessels in service. They maintain close contact with a ship's captain to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the ship. They also maintain contact with administrators of port agents to manage the schedules of vessels, and ensure cargo is loading and unloading without delay.

Reference: NYK e-missions' navigation system for seas covered in ice

Sea-Ice concentration forecast using the sea-ice forecast model

Contact Details:

Weathernews Inc., SR-Corner (PR?IR)
Ryoji Morishita
Tel: 043-274-5504; fax: 043-274-3916
E-mail: sr-corner@wni.com
NYK Corporate Communication Group
Yoko Furukawa
Tel: 03-3284-5195; Fax: 03-3284-6382
E-mail: yoko_furukawa@jp.nykline.com
The news on this website is as of the date announced and may change without notice.