Auckland, New Zealand-headquartered Vesper Marine has announced that Provincial Electrical Authority (PEA), the major power distribution company in Thailand, will be trialing Guardian:protect to monitor and protect the 22 kV submarine cable system from Sriracha to Koh Si Chang.

Cable landing port, Thailand

Cable landing port, Thailand

Guardian:protect is a 24/7 asset protection system that prevents accidental vessel damage to subsea cables, pipelines and marine assets. Using Automatic Identification System (AIS), it gives vessels visibility of the protected marine assets via virtual buoys displayed on their electronic navigation systems. The solution monitors realtime vessel movements, evaluates their behaviour to determine if they present a risk to the assets and proactively sends both the target vessel and the asset owner an alert if an incident might occur. The alert goes directly to the vessel’s electronic navigation system so they can immediately take corrective action.

The 9 kilometre cable system from Sriracha to Koh Si Chang has been impacted by three subsea cable incidents in recent years. Although marine traffic was monitored by AIS base stations, they could not determine whether a vessel presented a risk and had no mechanism to instantly contact the vessel, alerting them of the potential danger.

Jeff Robbins, CEO Vesper Marine, says, “The situation that PEA is confronted with is not new to Vesper Marine. Guardian:protect is used by New York Power Authority (NYPA) to protect subsea power cables in Long Island Sound, USA. NYPA implemented the Vesper Marine Solution in early 2016, after two anchor strikes cost tens of millions of dollars in repair costs. Guardian helps NYPA, North America’s largest government power authority, protect the environment and their critical infrastructure from damage.”

The trial for PEA will create virtual buoys across the full length of the subsea power cables. These virtual buoys will be seen on vessels’ navigation displays making them aware of the cables.

Vessel location, direction, speed and other information will be continuously monitored and recorded by a Guardian Virtual AIS Station and automatically analysed with customized rules to determine if they present an anchoring risk.

If a vessel appears to be anchoring within the cable zone, an alert is automatically sent to the PEA team while a special AIS text message is transmitted directly to the vessels’ navigation system warning of the no anchor zone.

By Jake Frith