Autumn 2015

Mermaid gives maritime boost

Mojo Maritime is set to launch its innovative project planning system, Mermaid.

Mojo Maritime, the marine operations, engineering and consultancy firm which joined the James Fisher group earlier this year is set to launch its innovative project planning system, Mermaid, which accurately simulates any marine operation against historical weather and tidal data.

Mermaid (which stands for Marine Economic Risk Management Aid) is an innovative in-house developed software solution which gives marine project managers a very good understanding of the impact of weather and tidal forces on a project’s schedule. This enables enhanced decision making in the early planning stages, which can be critical to the success and cost-effectiveness of an operation.

"You can't change the weather, but with Mermaid, you might be able to control the various elements of your project that are impacted by the weather."

Mojo’s senior analyst, Dr Rich Walker explains:

"By calibrating accurate weather information dating back between 10 and 23 years, factoring in wave height, sea conditions, wind strength and current velocity and direction, Mermaid enables companies to select the best vessels, ports, methods and processes to suit any proposed project start date. This has massive cost-saving implications for a huge variety of marine operations from the offshore renewables market to the oil and gas industries, as well as the shipping and insurance world."

Although Mojo has been using the software internally for the last two years as a consultancy tool, it has now been developed as a stand-alone product. Mermaid is currently undergoing detailed testing with a number of key clients, with a view to launching later this year.

The development of Mermaid began five years ago as Rich Walker’s PhD research at the University of Exeter which was supported by Richard Parkinson, Mojo’s managing director. Three years ago, Ben Sewell joined Mojo as senior software engineer and the Mermaid team has been further augmented by software engineer, Ashley Rolleston which has accelerated the development of the software product about to be launched.

Success so far:

  • Mermaid has been successfully used by a large utility company to select the preferred offshore contractor for marine survey operations at a tidal energy site
  • It was used to analyse cable-laying methods for offshore wind farms to determine the preferred method for cable storage and deployment and the vessel spread required to minimise cost, duration and risk
  • It has demonstrated when it is possible to perform certain operations in marginal weather (where critical tasks had formerly been suspended) with minimal risk
  • Another case assessing the foundation installation for offshore wind farms found cost and time could be halved by getting the installation vessel to track back and forth between the site and port instead of trying to transfer equipment from barges at sea

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