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GE Marine has opened its upgraded dynamic positioning operator (DPO) training centre in Houston, Texas, US.

The upgraded GE facility is fully approved by the Nautical Institute (NI), meets Class A standards, and provides a realistic training environment to vessel operators.

The training room is equipped with manoeuvring control, navigation, and visualisation systems, replicating the view out of the ship’s navigation bridge.

GE’s new centre offers various courses that include a spectrum of key marine operations and training to marine operators to perform smart operations.

GE Marine vice-president Tim Schweikert said: "We are dedicated to helping customers obtain necessary maritime qualifications and GE’s training school ensures that marine operators carry out operations allowing vessels to perform efficiently and safely.

"With complete equipment modernisation and a team of highly experienced engineers on-board, the Houston facility demonstrates a step forward in technology advancement and GE Marine’s firm commitment to a more energy efficient marine industry."

Designed to operate with two generations of GE’s DP systems, the DP training room will enable instructors to rapidly change out between C-Series DP and GE’s latest SeaStream DP system.

"We intend to train beyond the level of basic requirements, utilising the simulator to train in realistic scenarios."

GE’s SeaStream DP system operates in energy efficient mode and delivers flexibility for improved maritime operations.

In addition to minimising fuel consumption by 10% or more, the system cuts NOx emissions by up to 20% and reduces equipment wear and maintenance costs.

GE Marine marine service training leader Dave Johnson said: "Our new facility is designed to help mariners obtain the necessary NI qualifications to allow them to operate DP vessels, but we intend to train beyond the level of basic requirements, utilising the simulator to train in realistic scenarios, which will prepare DPOs for anything they may encounter."

GE’s centre also provides training courses to marine engineers and bridge officers, covering vessel power management and automation systems operations, maintenance for DP and power management.

The courses also cover operation and maintenance of different generations of electrical propulsion drives.

Image: GE’s new training room is equipped with maneuvering control and navigation systems. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.