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Conducting Annual DP Trials Programmes for DP Vessels

Published on 21 January 2013

‘Guidance for developing and conducting annual DP trials programmes for DP vessels: Executive Summary’ is the latest publication from the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). The full guidance document was developed because there were widely differing approaches to annual dynamic positioning (DP) trials throughout the industry. This IMCA guidance (IMCA M 190) is designed to promote a consistent approach to achieving an acceptable, universal standard for annual DP trials, with the Executive Summary (IMCA M 190A) providing an overview of its main elements.

“Classification society rules generally call for brief annual surveys that may not even include sea trials and do not include a great deal of equipment failures testing,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler. “In practice the majority of DP vessels conduct more extensive annual DP trials than class requirements.

“Compliance with IMO MSCO Circ 645, ‘Guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning’, requires that the annual survey records the ability of the vessel to keep position after single failures association with the assigned equipment class. This cannot be done if equipment failure testing is not carried out. A significant number of clients, in particular oil companies, may not accept the minimum annual class survey as meeting their own requirements for demonstrating the integrity of the DP system.

“The newly published Executive Summary provides references to the relevant sections of the overall guidance which encompass the development of the DP trials programme and the conduct of trials, and readers of the summary are encouraged to read the full document (IMCA M 190) for more in-depth guidance.”

The six-page Executive Summary with its useful descriptive notes and cross references is available for downloading free of charge, for members and non-members alike, from and printed copies are available at £5.00 for members and £10 for non-members and can be ordered via the website, from [email protected] or from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.