CONSTRUCTION of a new maritime simulation centre is underway at Svitzer Australia’s Port of Newcastle tug base.

The new training centre will to use Kongsberg Digital maritime simulators to support crew training and other maritime applications on the east coast of NSW.

Svitzer said the start of construction marks the “next major milestone” toward delivering a training centre of excellence for the deployment of Svitzer’s new TRAnsverse tugs, slated to enter service in Newcastle in 2025. They would be the second and third to be deployed in the world.

Svitzer Australia chief operating officer David Phillips said Svitzer is commited to upskilling and training Australian seafarers.

“We are excited to see construction underway for a facility that will provide the latest and most advanced maritime training and technology for pilots, tug masters, and other vessels,” Mr Phillips said.

“As the country’s largest private employer of Australian seafarers, we recognise the important role we play in maritime skill development and using the next generation of technology to train and upskill the next generation of seafarers.

“There will be further opportunities to connect the simulator in Newcastle with other simulators around Australia and the world, pioneering pilot/master integrated training, as well as several other training and familiarisation needs.

“This includes applications such as emergency response training and for emerging industries such as offshore wind development and beyond.”

Svitzer Australia is engaging local builders and contractors to deliver the construction project in Newcastle, including for design, civil and electrical works.

Svitzer has also made its first staffing appointment for the facility with experienced Newcastle master, Ben Holder, coming onshore as training master for the facility.

Mr Holder would help lead the introduction of the new TRAnsverse tug, including supporting familiarisation and training needs, and helping Svitzer maximise the capabilities of the simulator and tug.

Svitzer said it would provide further information regarding the build completion and opening for the simulator facility in coming months, and opportunities for shared training and familiarisation.