One of PRINCIPIA’s historical businesses is devoted to qualifying the operability and industrial risks associated with harbor environments.
With around 30 marine engineers, we can cover the following Engineering and Design activities:

Handling equipment and lifting operations

Our technicians and engineers offer services to the handling equipment industry as well as to lifting operators. The design verification by our specialists in structural mechanics of the handling equipment conformity (gantries, cranes…) against technical requirements of our clients is performed by using advanced FE modeling tools combined with a strong knowledge of recent code and standards as EN13001 and Eurocodes. In cases of nuclear safety, specific analyses are made such as strength against blast or seismic loadings. Engineering of lifting operations covers the definition of sling configurations, ship blocks assembly analyses, heavy lift study

Floating Jetty Design

Relying on our own naval design office and based on our core expertise in both hydrodynamic and structural studies we can perform a complete floating jetty design. Our capabilities range from naval architecture for the design of the floating jetty itself to dedicated advanced hydrodynamic and structural studies based on Client specific requests. We are able to perform studies at all stages of the design process, from concept phase through to detailed design.”

Working in close cooperation with the Client, we can design the floating jetty and prepare all relevant documents such as general arrangements, hull forms, structural arrangements, scantlings, deck, mooring and berthing arrangements, weight breakdowns and stability analyses. We can also prepare piping diagrams, cathodic protection plans, Class required drawings and main equipment specifications upon Client request.

During the naval architecture process, we can carry out dedicated studies such as mooring analysis to design or check the mooring arrangement when subjected to environmental conditions, as well as to assess forces to be considered on bollard foundations. We can also carry out berthing studies to assess the fender arrangements for ship or submarine berthing, under normal or accidental conditions.

Berthing Studies & Offloading Operational Limits

We have extensive experience in berthing studies for many kinds of vessels, including oil and LNG tankers, VLCC, container ships and cruise ships, of any size. We can perform such studies with the view to determining the allowable environmental limits for safe offloading operations, verifying the capacity of the berthing components or even evaluating breaking of lines scenarios. Such studies are based on a numerical model of the vessel at berth with all the berthing components including mooring lines, shore lines, fenders, winches and mooring fittings, taking into account their capacity and mechanical behaviour.

We can also propose berthing layouts based on mooring deck arrangements and recommended practices (OCIMF guidelines) or accounting for specific practices after discussion with the board and/or Port Authorities.

Berthing studies would generally be performed with our software DIODORE™ by simulating the response of the vessel at berth. Typical results are the vessel’s motions, relative motions between vessel and quay, tensions in lines and fender deflections.

Coastal Agitation

We can perform Coastal Agitation studies to estimate the attenuation coefficients in a harbour or a marina, using our Software PORLIN™. Based on the local bathymetry and a description of the harbour and coastal contours, including jetties and partial dykes, we can build a model and perform simplified (linear) calculations of the agitation in a very short time. The model can also be easily modified to test modifications in the harbour design.

Reflection and transmission coefficients of partial dykes can be evaluated by means of numerical tools when possible (DIODORE™), otherwise we may organize experimental tests in a basin.

Manoeuvring & Trajectography

We can perform preliminary manoeuvring studies of vessels in harbours or in channels, with our manoeuvring simulator MANDOLINE™ (internal use). This tool has the unique ability to create a  model of vessel behaviour in a very short time, based on limited data. Academic models can also be used if information is not sufficient to assess the precise manoeuvring behaviour.

Shallow water effects, ship-bank effects and ship-ship interactions are taken into account in the simulations. The harbour or waterways boundaries can be easily implemented/modified using DXF format.

The simulations are performed in scenario-piloted fast-time mode, i.e. the vessel’s actuators are controlled by a pre-defined scenario rather than an automatic pilot. The scenario’s strategy should be established/checked by discussion with a captain or a maritime pilot.

Industrial Risk Assessment

Depending on the harbor activities, PRINCIPIA offers scopes of services in the following areas:

  • Seismic structural responses: main references are in the defense domains (seismic response of cranes, workshops…),
  • Explosion responses: structural responses of the harbor facilities to a shock wave (like an industrial explosion) are computed (ABAQUS, LS-DYNA, ANSYS, FLUENT),
  • Accidental dropped object: consequences of the fall of equipment are evaluated against the impacted area (like a ship deck), or on the dropped object itself,
  • Extreme environment: time history simulations are performed with harsh environmental conditions (e.g. berthing studies).


International Oil Companies: TOTAL, EXXON, CHEVRON, SHELL, GDF-Suez
National Oil Companies, JV or Independent companies: PETROBRAS ,SDAG, EDISON
Other industries: Areva, DCNS, Astrium, Bouygues,


Deepwater West Africa : Girassol; Dalia, Akpo, Usan, Kizomba, Erha, Angloa Block15 Gas Gathering, Agbami, Greater Plutonio, Bonga, Egina, CLOV, Azurite
Offshore West Africa : Moho-Bilondo, Chinguetti, Oyo, Okoro-Setu, OFON, Zafiro, Sanha, NKossa
Americas : Cascade, Golfinho, Gimboa, Hidra, Thunder Horse, Matterhorn
Far-east and Australia : Kikeh, North Belut, Abu cluster, Puteri, MAD6, Sakhalin, WANAEA, Bongkot
Europe, Mediterranean and Middle East : Frigg, Harding, Jura, Vega, Janice, Zakum, Balder, Shah Deniz, Troll Olje, Heidrun
Terminals : Rio-Del Rey, Tamatave, Senipah, Shtokman (Barents sea), Livorno, Idku, Balhaf, Dahej, Skikda, Bejaia