OFW desalination ships to implement VSAT on board

French company OFW Ships, a business running at-sea desalination plants on vessels that turn seawater into drinkable bottled water on a five-day production schedule, is rolling out a new satcom system from Marlink to improve access to operational data and enhance its crew communication capabilities.

OFW, which stands for ‘Ocean Fresh Water’, operates vessels equipped with seawater filtration systems and bottling plants which are able to produce 2.5 million litres of drinkable bottled water every week.

The saltwater is drawn from the sea, then filtered to remove sodium chloride while preserving naturally occurring minerals. The processed seawater is bottled, packaged and stored on board, then delivered to port, after which the vessel’s five-day production cycle begins again.

OFW’s new deal with Marlink will see the company implement a multi-band connectivity solution on board its ships, combining global Ku-band VSAT services with an L-band back-up for connectivity redundancy.

The service will be provided under a Committed Information Rate (CIR) package guaranteeing a minimum bandwidth level at all times.

The new system will be used to provide crew connectivity, including enabling crew to use their own devices on the ship, and will support the adoption of new operational applications for decision support. Network control and crew account management will be handled by Marlink’s XChange communications management platform.

“Reliable, top-quality connectivity is vital for us if we are to carry out our operations as safely and effectively as possible. A well-equipped, well-informed and happy crew is also an efficient crew,” said Régis Revilliod, CEO, OFW Ships.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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