Ocean Infinity has upped the ante on its robotic vessel fleet, booking its largest shore-operated multipurpose ships ever from shipbuilder Vard.
The Houston-based company has placed an order for a new series of six 85 m long, optionally crewed robotic vessels, all of which will be operated from shore and will eventually use green ammonia as fuel. The landmark order will take Ocean Infinity’s remote vessel fleet to 23. The new vessels of Vard 9 80 design will augment Ocean Infinity’s current Armada fleet of nine 21 m and 36 m long vessels, plus eight 78-m vessels which are already in production.
“Armada will play a huge role in enabling the global maritime community to reduce its carbon emissions from operations at sea. These new 85-m vessels will be optimised for inspection, maintenance and repair and light construction work to offer remote, ultra-low carbon services to the offshore energy market. Like the 78-m series currently under construction, the new design continues to drive minimalised environmental impact with its integration of new fuel-cell and battery technology,” said Richard Daltry, technical director of surface technology at Ocean Infinity.
Fincantieri-controlled Vard won the contract to design and build the eight highly advanced, 78-m vessels in November 2020. The first four are underway, while steel cutting for the fifth began recently at Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam. The new series of six vessels are scheduled for delivery from Vard Vung Tau in 2025. The first vessels will have the full suite of new technology and equipment installed and integrated at one of Vard’s shipyards in Norway.