Maritime technology company Wärtsilä has delivered its dual-fuel simulator tech to a training centre in Singapore hoping to support the upskilling of seafarers using new, sustainable fuels. 

The tech was delivered to the Singapore Maritime Officer’s Union’s Wavelink Maritime Institute (WMI) and includes a virtual reality element to complement the model bridge and engine rooms at WMI’s new simulation suite. 

Kiran Kumar, product sales manager at Wärtsilä Marine, said: “Climate regulation is pushing for constant improvement in fuel efficiency to drive down emissions meaning alternative and transition fuels will play a significant role in achieving these goals. 

“The new simulation suite with Wärtsilä technology provides realistic training opportunities that will allow their graduates to safely operate technologically advanced vessels, whilst preparing them for shipping’s decarbonised future.” 

In addition to using virtual reality, the simulation tech also includes a cloud-based solution that can provide “blended learning experiences” by combining with WMI’s own learning management system and allowing trainees to use the simulators remotely. 

The need to upskill seafarers to use modern, sustainability-based technology has become a vital part of the maritime industry’s future as it deploys new vessels and engines quicker than ever and struggles to attract new people to the sector. 

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A 2023 study by the DNV and the Singapore Maritime Foundation found that 85% of seafarers said there was a need for training on new and emerging fuels, with 87% specifically calling for training on ammonia, hydrogen and methanol fuels. 

Similarly, a recent report from the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the World Maritime University also called for an urgent “global education overhaul” to address the incoming demands for seafarers able to operate the new fleet of sustainable ships.

Teo Keong Kok, managing director at WMI, said: “Seafarers today must continue to reskill and upskill, particularly in the areas of decarbonisation and new alternative fuels.

“Wärtsilä’s advanced simulator technology allows us to provide the highest quality maritime training, ensuring that our students are fully in step with the transition currently underway in the shipping industry.”