A significant milestone was passed recently when Alewijnse Marine Systems recorded the 1000th installation of an AIS (automatic identification system) transponder on board an inland vessel based in the Netherlands.
A new regulation has recently been introduced that requires inland commercial vessels to have AIS installed before 2013, but Alewijnse is working with operators in the sector to ensure that they are fully compliant well ahead of the deadline. Thanks to the introduction of its Explorer AIS system at the start of 2011, Alewijnse became the first Dutch company to offer a specialized inland AIS system and remains the largest single supplier in the region. Easy to install and exceptionally compact, the Explorer is just the first in a new range of inland AIS products from Alewijnse.
Government subsidy drives demand
The units are currently being sold at a 100% discount on the €2,100 (excl. VAT) price due to a government grant of equal value that covers all European commercial vessels operating on Dutch inland waters until January 2013. In respond to the resulting demand the company is operating a system of staggered distribution to the inland shipping operators from its offices in Rotterdam, Nijmegen and Drachten. Alewijnse handles the entire installation and commissioning process, as well as offering expert maintenance and support thereafter.
The Alewijnse AIS system offers inland vessels a number of advantages. It integrates seamlessly with other onboard navigation electronics, the software is easy to use and the simple menu structure makes it straightforward to view critical information on other AISequipped shipping in the vicinity. In addition Alewijnse offers a dual GPS / VHF antenna as an alternative to the usual dual antenna setup, and customers can choose between an inland and offshore configuration.
Alewijnse is also working with the Netherlands National Council for Inland Shipping (Rijkswaterstaat) on its ‘Corridor 895’ AIS test project. This programme is evaluating the effectiveness of AIS on 895 inland vessels operating on the Rhine corridor and between the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Nijmegen. Alewijnse was selected for its unrivalled technical knowledge and expertise, and the results of the project will provide valuable information to the Dutch inland shipping industry.