Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has supplied maritime simulators at a new training facility in Portugal.

Designed and run by the Port Authority for the ports of Douro, Leixōes and Viana do Castelo (APDL), the training centre is the country’s largest and most advanced maritime training facility.

The centre features a Wärtsilä Full Mission Bridge simulator with 360 degree projection, two tug simulators and one VTS simulator. This allows full training, complex exercises, certification for pilots, tug masters, merchant navy offices and seafaring vessel crews.

Transas, a Wärtsilä company, developed the simulation technology.

“The Full Mission Bridge simulator with 360 degree projection technology is the largest and most modern of its kind in Portugal," said Alex van Knotsenborg, Global Sales Director, Wärtsilä Transas.

Comandante Rui Cunha, Director of Operations and Safety at APDL said the centre would promote safety and operational efficiency.

"The training doesn’t need to be carried out onboard, thus saving fuel and reducing pollution," he said. "The River Douro inland waterway has its five locks and corresponding approaches recreated in this simulator, as well as all the scenarios of Porto de Leixões and Viana do Castelo. This allows for intense and continuous training of ships’ crews, and for maintaining the skills of APDL pilots and parties."

Portugal’s Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, led the inauguration of the facility at a ceremony in July.

The Wärtsilä scope includes the development of several 3D zones and a tug boat model. Wärtsilä had previously provided APDL with a VTS system.