Fincantieri-controlled shipbuilder Vard has secured a new contract for the design and construction of eight marine robotic vessels for Houston-based subsea and data company Ocean Infinity.
The vessels have a custom design and technology features allowing onshore remote control, light crewed or uncrewed operations, and will facilitate alternative fuels such as green ammonia.
The series of eight vessels, especially developed to serve as multi-role-vessels, will support Ocean Infinity’s operations worldwide from its control centres and expand the company’s newly launched Armada fleet.
Oliver Plunkett, CEO of Ocean Infinity, commented: “The impact and the scale of this robotic fleet will spark the biggest transformation the maritime industry has seen since sail gave way to steam. With our new fleet we will be able to provide sustainable services to all corners of the industry from offshore energy, to logistics and transport.”
Design and engineering are currently ongoing at Vard Design, and development of onboard control systems at Vard Electro in Ålesund, Norway, while the vessels will be built at Vard’s shipyard Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam and are scheduled for delivery in the period from mid-2022 to end-2023.
The 78 m long vessels will supplement the current Armada fleet of nine 21 m and 36 m vessels, which are already in production and expected to operational by early 2021.
A broad range of suppliers and contractors in the Norwegian maritime cluster are involved in the project.