Norwegian offshore services player Reach Subsea has placed an order at Kongsberg Maritime for the construction of the first two in a series of unmanned offshore surface vessels (USVs) named Reach Remote, which will serve as mobile power banks, data centres and communication modules for underwater remotely operated vessels (ROVs). Both the USVs and ROVs will be operated from an onshore control centre.
The Reach Remote project is developed by Reach Subsea jointly with Kongsberg Maritime and Massterly. In February 2022, a collaboration agreement with Wilhelmsen, covering an equity investment in Reach Subsea and strategic cooperation for the commercialisation of Reach Remote, was announced.
Reach Subsea expects delivery of the first two USVs by mid-2023. The total investment for the first two Reach Remote units, which includes the Kongsberg contract as well as upfront development and infrastructure investments for the benefit of future units, is between NOK380m ($43m) and NOK400m ($45m). The investment will be financed through loans from SR-Bank and Eksfin and proceeds from the private equity placement in which Wilhelmsen invested NOK150m in February 2022.
Reach Subsea has also recently announced the acquisitions of OCTIO, including Monviro, and iSURVEY, which are seen as a strong strategic fit with the Reach Remote service concept. “Reach Remote will enable a 20% to 30% reduction in cost for clients and up to a 100% reduction in emissions compared to today’s large, manned control vessels,” said CEO of Reach Subsea, Jostein Alendal. “With our strong partners, world-leading technology and solid financial foundation, Reach Remote is an attractive project, which we will bring to the market with perfect timing. We see firm demand from the traditional oil and gas segments combined with rapidly growing emerging market segments like renewable energy. The interest in Reach Remote is strong in all parts of our global network of customers,” added Alendal.