Boskalis Annual Report 2020


ICT In light of the COVID-19 pandemic much of 2020 was focused on ensuring that our IT services worked with optimal efficiency to accommodate the new situation, with many colleagues working at home. Our IT strategy of being able to work ‘any time in any place in a secure way’, served us well this year. When mobility restrictions came into force in March, employees all over the world were able to work from home from one day to the next, and over the course of the year we succeeded in improving our online collaboration environment. Dealing with the sometimes unpredictable configurations of home internet connections and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams brought a new set of challenges, and we sharpened our efforts around cybersecurity this year. We have improved the way we monitor the working environment for cyber attacks, which are increasing both in frequency and in the level of sophistication. We also made improvements to our Enterprise Resource Planning system within the Dredging division this year, developing tools to help project teams working abroad achieve more control over the results of their projects. The planned completion of the program’s implementation had to be put on hold due to COVID-19. Similarly, our program to develop the new companywide software tool to optimize Fleet Management processes also had to be postponed; in 2020 progress was limited to preparatory works. Our work to integrate Building Information Modeling (BIM) standards and developing supporting IT solutions continued.

implemented Boskalis Remote Assistance – a device attached to a helmet or bump cap that is linked to a software platform. Augmented reality technology allows employees to effectively collaborate from different locations. Complex challenges can now be addressed remotely, without the time and expense involved in flying engineers to remote locations or vessels to provide support. The system has already been implemented on 24 of our hopper dredgers. SURE This year, Boskalis was one of the initiators of the program SURE, (SUbsea enhanced REality) program, together with Rijkswaterstaat, the executive agency of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and TNO Delft. SURE aims to make underwater asset monitoring more accurate through the creation of a ‘blended reality’ environment. By using AI, video and sonar sources, images are combined to provide more, and more accurate, information than the different individual processes traditionally used. The innovation will enhance our own inspection services and improve our clients’ asset management processes, as well as improve safety, by virtually eliminating the need for divers. After the successful completion of the first phase, the program is now entering phase two. Joint industry initiatives As a member of the Green Maritime Methanol consortium we are investigating the feasibility of methanol as a sustainable fuel for the maritime sector. A study with eight other selected companies, which reached completion in December 2020, showed its technical feasibility. Methanol is not yet economically viable for retrofit in our vessels but the project is being extended for another two years, starting mid-2021, where the focus will be on new-build vessels. 2020 saw the continuation of our involvement in GROW (Growth through Research, development & demonstration in Offshore Wind), and the second year of our participation in the Gentle Driving of Piles (GDP) project. The dominant method for driving monopiles into the seabed is hydraulic impact piling, which creates substantial noise and disturbance for underwater marine life, as well as damage to the monopile. GDP, a smart combination of actual and rotational vibrations, will minimize the environmental impact of installing offshore wind platforms as well as reduce costs, making the construction of offshore wind farms more affordable. This year Boskalis joined DigiShape, an open innovation platform for the digitization of the water sector. As part of a consortium of prominent players in the sector, alongside knowledge institutions and governments, Boskalis is working on a more optimal application of data in our processes. Dutch Coastline Challenge Rijkswaterstaat aims to make the maintenance of the Dutch coastline emission free by 2030 and has invited industry players to develop innovations to meet this target. Boskalis submitted a range of ideas, several of which have been selected and are currently under development.


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