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Order another eight! Ocean Inifinity continues to expand its fleet of unmanned ships

Order another eight! Ocean Inifinity continues to expand its fleet of unmanned ships

Column:Industry News    Date:2020/11/25 16:15:31    Viewed:


The stranding of the Yara Birkeland, the world's first unmanned container ship, does not appear to have deterred Us and European shipping companies from challenging unmanned vessels.

Ocean Infinity, the world's leading autonomous underwater robot operator, has announced that it will continue to expand its fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles, adding eight 78-meter-long manned autonomous vessels as part of the "next phase" of its ultra-low-emission Armada fleet.With 13 21-meter-long and 36-meter-long unmanned workboats previously ordered, Ocean Infinity's Armada fleet will number more than 20.


Ocean Infinity has signed a contract with VARD, a Norwegian company owned by Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri, to design and build the new ship, the first of which is scheduled to be launched in mid-2022.According to Ocean Infinity, the ships will have an energy-efficient design that can be remotely controlled from shore and will initially have only a core crew on board.In due course, the fleet will switch to unmanned operations and also use only renewable fuels such as ammonia.

"We are working closely with regulators to develop unique custom design features and system integration that allow remote operations and the introduction of green sustainable fuels such as ammonia," said Alberto Maestrini, VARD's CHIEF executive.Other features of the new ship include high DP2 performance, spacious deck space and a bi-monthly pool, making the ship well suited for a variety of extended load tasks requiring precision, such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and underwater robot (AUV) deployment and logistics support.


Ocean Infinity was founded in 2017 in the United States and has rapidly grown into a leading global maritime technology company.Earlier this year, Ocean Inifinity chose Grovfjord Mek.Verksted (GMV), Norway's largest maker of aluminium workboats, to build up to 13 Armada unmanned vessels 21 metres long and 36 metres long.

Oliver Plunkett, Chief executive of Ocean Infinity, said: "The power and scale of this fleet of unmanned ships is poised to bring about the biggest change in the shipping industry since sailing power went to steam power.With our new fleet, we will be able to provide sustainable services to all corners of the offshore energy, logistics and transportation industries."

"We as an industry have to accept the need to be carbon neutral.However, this will not happen overnight or in a year. It will be a long process that requires bold steps forward to challenge all conventions and conventions.The move is a big step towards that goal.Expanding our Armada fleet to cover larger ships will allow us to support a wider range of maritime activities.With fewer crew members and lower fuel consumption than traditional ships, this will lead to more sustainable results for the shipping industry while also creating new and safer jobs for future seafarers."


It is understood that Ocean Infinity has set up a new ship technology and data company, Amada, earlier this year.The Amada fleet is the safest to operate, says Ocean Infinity, because it does not need people at sea. It is also the most environmentally sustainable fleet, producing 90% less carbon dioxide than conventional survey ships.

The biggest problem and risk for offshore contractors is that their assets are so large that buying large support ships is clearly not a good idea in the face of shrinking profit margins, but the next decade or two will be "slimming time" for participants in offshore activities, so it is important to introduce artificial intelligence and robotics.


In response to this trend, Ocena Infinity launched its Armada's Fleet Robotics in April, which, as its name suggests, is a "thinking" Fleet.Armada fleet can carry ROV and AUV, as well as various other sensors or equipment, instead of traditional support ships to complete seabed mapping, oil field material transportation, underwater construction support, salvage and rescue, military and other activities.The fleet will be controlled remotely from one of three global control centres in Austin, Texas; Southampton, England; and Asia, where the location has not yet been determined.

In June, Ocean Infinity signed the first CONTRACT with Kongsberg Maritime for the UNMANNED ROV Release and Recovery System (LARS) for use on the Amada fleet.The Kongsberg LARS system is an important part of ensuring that underwater operations do not require people to go out to sea.This innovative technology enables shore-based teams to remotely operate underwater vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles.

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