Singapore offshore vessel owner and operator Marco Polo Marine has teamed up with compatriot autonomous drone startup F-drones to co-develop what it said are the world’s first large-scale, electric aerial delivery drones for offshore wind farms.
The partnership will see both companies co-develop drones customised for deployment in the Asia Pacific, to send supplies and critical items to offshore wind installations. F-drones, which has been developing drones to deliver cargoes of up to 100 kg over 100 km, will offer its drone technology expertise, while Marco Polo Marine will provide technical operating and commercial capabilities in the offshore wind sector.
Marco Polo said the use of the co-developed delivery drones is expected to result in more than 90% cost savings and is four times faster than traditional means, which rely mostly on boats and occasionally, helicopters, as the key modes of transport. It would also result in sharply lower CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions of up to 99%, as compared to sending a supply boat or crew transfer vessel for 100 kg loads over 100 km to offshore wind farms, the company added.
Sean Lee, CEO of Marco Polo Marine, commented: “The partnership is an example of different industry players with aligned values coming together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is in line with global and Singapore government initiatives. By enabling efficient and sustainable maritime logistics, this collaboration will boost the offshore maritime industry, as it transitions to fuels with a lower or minimal carbon footprint.”
Nicolas Ang, CEO of F-drones, added: “The world’s energy transition not only requires building renewable energy assets but also the ability to service them sustainably. Our partnership with Marco Polo Marine is a case-in-point, which has the potential to transform the future of logistics across offshore wind farms globally.”