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AMS Group to implement world-leading vessel traffic services in Fiji’s Port of Suva

Brisbane-based company Australian Maritime System Group (AMSG) will implement world-leading port vessel traffic technology to Fiji after being awarded the first contract of its kind by Fiji Ports Corporation (FPC).

The vessel traffic service (VTS), a first for the country’s maritime industry, will allow FPC to communicate with ships and manage traffic in the Port of Suva, Fiji’s largest and busiest port.

AMSG will install and maintain a turnkey VTS with full training and knowledge transfer provided, with the system estimated to be live by August 2020.

AMSG CEO Richard Morton said the company had a long history of delivering maritime projects in the Pacific Islands and that it was important for Australian firms to be fostering strong ties with our regional neighbours.

“Our partnership with FPCL is the product of a 10-year collaboration and shows just how forward-thinking FPC’s approach is to improve the efficiency of their port operations,” Mr Morton said.

“Not only is this a strong endorsement of AMSG’s capability integrating world-leading technology and record, it’s also a huge vote of confidence in the future of Fiji that will deliver safety, operational and economic benefits.

“Having world-class vessel traffic services will produce financial knock-on effects with an increase in trading with and investment in Fiji.”

Fiji Ports CEO Vajira Piyasena said the project was “critical” to Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd.

“As far as we know this is the first installation of smart port technology in the region,” Mr Piyasena said.

“Being a smart port is embedded in our organisation’s strategic perspectives of ‘safety, security and technology’. We expect this project to improve the control of vessels and enhance our monitoring capabilities.”

Mr Piyasena said AMS Group’s experience and expertise made them the ideal partner for the project.

“AMS Group has a strong background in implementing and supporting similar projects and it is viewed as an ideal partner to transfer technology and knowledge in this space,” he said.

Comparable to an airport’s ground traffic control system, AMSG’s VTS systems have been designed with world-leading software developer Saab technology BV Netherlands and partner sensor manufacturers. They provide multi-sensor target tracking, decision support, routing, traffic analysis, incident investigation and information management.

With a head office in Brisbane and satellite offices in Cairns, Fremantle, Newcastle, Melbourne and Hobart, AMSG has a geographically diverse and highly skilled workforce that installs and maintains maritime systems along the Australian coastline.

As a globally recognised leader, the group has also completed extensive and challenging overseas contracts for marine agencies in Canada, Turkey, Malaysia, Galapagos, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.


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Deal Delivers Safe Seas for Tasmania

Tasmania’s spectacular coastline will be kept safe for both commercial and recreational
vessels for the next five years.

Maritime and Safety Tasmania (MAST) has awarded Australian Maritime Systems Group the
contract to maintain the state’s huge network of navigational aids until 2022.
The island’s 293 navigational aids include land-based aids, beacons and buoys – many of
which are in the most isolated and inaccessible locations in Tasmania.

Australian Maritime Systems Group’s Hobart-based team uses vehicles, boats and choppers
to maintain the network and protect the tens of thousands of commercial and recreational
vessels which use Tasmanian waters each year.

AMSG Managing Director John Sugarman said the company was looking forward to building
on its strong partnership with MAST.

“We have helped keep Tasmania’s coast safe for a decade and are delighted that MAST is
once again placing its trust in our professional team,” Mr Sugarman said.

“Tasmania has one of the most beautiful and rugged coastlines in Australia – but also one of
the most challenging for shipping.

“Our partnership with MAST is absolutely crucial in protecting everyone who sails to and
from or around Tasmania.”

Justin Foster, Manager MAST Assets, said AMSG was a trusted and professional partner.

“AMSG has significant navigation aid experience, but more importantly has specific detailed
knowledge MAST’s aids throughout Tasmania,” Mr Foster said.

The range of aids to navigation ensure that vessels in Tasmanian waters are made aware of

potential hazards day or night, regardless of weather conditions.

Although Tasmania is only 222km long, its jagged coast and its many neighbouring islands
mean that MAST is responsible for the safety of 4882km of coastline.

As well as supporting MAST in Tasmania, AMSG also repairs and maintains the aids to
navigation network that rings Australia on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Agency
(AMSA), with many of these major landfall aids located in Tasmania.

The five-year $1.25m contract, which was awarded following a competitive tender process,
also includes a three-year optional extension to 2025.


About Australian Maritime Systems Group

• Australian Maritime Systems Group (AMSG) is a global leader in high-quality,
innovative and integrated cost-effective solutions for maritime service delivery.

• AMSG specialises in the design, construction and maintenance of maritime
structures, aids to navigation and complex surveillance systems and their integration
with the latest technology to commercial and defence industries.

• AMSG also specialises in the supply, installation and maintenance of navigational
aids, AIS, buoys, radar, sea-level monitoring systems and meteorological ocean
equipment, as well as the supply and servicing of maritime and aviation safety

• AMSG has a highly-skilled mobile workforce, with its head office in Brisbane and
offices in Cairns, Fremantle, Melbourne and Hobart. This mobile workforce allows
AMSG to conduct installation and maintenance of maritime systems and structures
by its team members at hundreds of sites along the Australian coastline.

• AMSG has also completed many extensive and challenging overseas contracts for
marine agencies in Canada, Turkey and South-East Asia. Most recently its engineers

have completed contracts in Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

For more information visit:

Media Contact: Stuart Sherwin, Sequel PR – 0403 090 914 or 07 3251 8144

AMS Group

Protecting the Reef

Protecting the reef


The Great Barrier Reef is set to become even safer for shipping thanks to a state-of-the-art
sea traffic control system designed by an innovative Queensland company.

The system will be one of the world’s most sophisticated and will help coordinate traffic at
five Queensland ports and along 3000kms of the world’s most sensitive sea lanes.

The contract to design and install the new Vessel Traffic Services – Decision Support Tool
(VTS-DST) has been awarded to Brisbane-based Australian Maritime Systems Group
(AMSG) by Maritime Safety Queensland following a global competitive tendering process.
It will replace the REEFVTS shipping control system, which has successfully protected the
Great Barrier Reef since 2004, and the five port control VTS systems at Brisbane, Cairns,
Townsville, Gladstone and Hay Point.

“There are few places on Earth as beautiful and precious as the Great Barrier Reef – or as
challenging for shipping,” said AMSG Managing Director John Sugarman.

“Our system will give VTS operators the clearest and most up-to-date picture they have ever
seen of shipping passing through the Great Barrier Reef.

“And it will also help predict and warn of potential problems – enabling port authorities and
captains to plan even safer journeys.”

Around 4000 commercial vessels a year pass through the waters controlled by REEFVTS.
At the core of the new VTS-DST will be the V3000 traffic management and information
system built by AMSG’s long-time technology partner SAAB and operated by 70 of the
world’s major ports, including Rotterdam, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The system will receive information from radar, CCTV, meteorological sensors and
Automatic Identification System signals emitted from ships via satellite or radio

It will significantly improve the speed, quality and breadth of information passing between
ships and on-shore control centres, improving not only marine safety but also the efficiency
of Queensland’s economically vital sea lanes.

It will also improve severe weather and cyclone-resilience by allowing centres to take over
each other’s area of operations in the event of a natural disaster, ensuring uninterrupted
vessel traffic management.

The $36m installation and maintenance contract was signed between Maritime Safety
Queensland and AMSG in Brisbane earlier this month.
A team of 15 highly-skilled AMSG engineers will deliver the new VTS-DST.

“We’re delighted the Queensland Government has chosen to back a Queensland company
for this important contract,” Mr Sugarman said.

“Australian Maritime Systems Group has some of the best and brightest in the business and
we’re ready to deliver one of the most sophisticated vessel traffic services ever built.”

In April this year AMSG was awarded the contract to design and install a new VTS system at
Western Australia’s Port Hedland – the world’s largest bulk export port – on behalf of Pilbara
Ports Authority (PPA).

And in June the company was awarded a contract by Chevron Australia to design and install
a new VTS system to manage shipping to and from the Gorgon Project on Barrow Island,
60km off the coast of Western Australia.

For more information visit

Media Contact: Stuart Sherwin, Sequel PR – 0403 090 914 or 07 3251 8144

Improving tech boosts local work

LONG-time North West Shelf LNG navigation aid collaborator Australian Maritime Systems Group managing director John Sugarman has told Energy News he sees more opportunities for companies like his as technology improves.

With LNG projects moving from the construction to operations and maintenance phase, Sugarman said much the existing onshore equipment is now coming to the end of its life and needs upgrading.

“There are also a lot of larger companies that have taken up the big contracts and are looking for companies like ourselves to subcontract the specialist side of the business,” he said.

The Brisbane-headquartered company was awarded a contract to install a new vessel tracking service system to manage shipping to and from the Gorgon project, having already installed offshore and onshore marine monitoring systems for Wheatstone.

The company has completed more than 40 projects across 15 countries across Asia, Europe, North and South America and Australia.

AMS, which focuses on the defence as well as oil and gas sectors, has tended to centralise some of its expertise, particularly at its head office, where it can remotely analyse a lot of the new high-tech gear projects have, and send out technicians when required.

“A lot of the software you can get in and do any rebooting, reconfiguration – that’s where technology is really going,” Sugarman, who has been a director at AMS since 2000, said.

“A lot of it can be done remotely, and when necessary we get our technicians out to do the on the ground work.”

While AMS used to have more depots around Australia, in 2015 it launched a mobile facility, currently heading down the WA coast having worked in Darwin, accompanied by helicopters, on scheduled visits to remote onshore sites.

Sugarman described the massive double semi-trailer as “quite sophisticated”.

“We know what’s required to be done on a scheduled basis, then we have the emergency response from a number of our depots, both on the west coast to down south and on the east coast.

“Then we have people strategically located for any emergency outage work and emergency rectification that can’t be done remotely that we can send our technicians to fix.

“We’re now looking at the continual maintenance of the specialist equipment that we’ve supplied.”