Ghana Maritime Authority and Sternula Enter VDES Agreement

Director General of GMA, Mr. Thomas Alonsi, signing the Letter-of-Intent

Sternula has signed a partnership agreement with the Ghana Maritime Authority. The strategic agreement’s purpose is to strengthen the maritime sector in Ghana and West Africa. By the terms of the deal, Ghana will use the satellite-based VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) for navigational and safety-related purposes. This would enable reliable and accurate maritime navigational warnings to seafarers by the local authorities while further enhancing the safety of Ghanaian waters.

Reacting to this partnership,  the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Thomas Alonsi, said, “In line with our ambitious goals, today we are entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the first Danish satellite-provider in advanced micro-satellites. This marks the beginning of a new partnership that could lead to the deployment of cutting edge technologies in our maritime domain”. The agreement is envisaged as part of an ambitious plan to strengthen Ghana as a maritime forerunner in West Africa.

Commenting on the agreement, Lars Moltsen, the CEO at Sternula, remarked that “Naturally, we are very satisfied with the new agreement that will contribute to the positive maritime development of Ghana. Almost 90% of West Africa’s trade is handled by sea, so we see great potential in implementing our satellite-based e-Navigation technology to boost the entire Ghanaian maritime sector” He further added that the new relationship “will help Ghana to gain a better and more accurate picture of the traffic in our waters, which – in these times of maritime insecurity – is an urgent necessity,”

VDES is a new communication technology built on the capabilities of the well-known AIS technology, which supports the development of e-Navigation solutions. As an extension of Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology, VDES will become mandatory under the Safety-of-Life-at-Sea (SOLAS) convention by the International Maritime Organization.

Sternula is Denmark’s first commercial satellite operator. Furthermore, the satellite operator offers global VDE-SAT connectivity for maritime authorities and industries using its fleet of advanced microsatellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) which will be operational from 2022.