Norwegian maritime cluster comes together for autonomous operations

2 minutes
July 21, 2023
USV AS, a joint venture company established by Solstad Offshore, Deep Ocean and Østensjø, has ordered its first unmanned surface vessel (USV). It is estimated that the USV solution can reduce CO2 emissions with more than 90 percent, compared to a conventional offshore vessel, when conducting subsea IMR operations.

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The USV will be remotely controlled from shore and can operate in severe conditions. A newly developed launch and recovery system will be equipped, which allows for work class ROV’s to be operated from relatively small vessels, and will increase the vessel’s workable weather window.

SEAM will deliver the hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, included with full automation and power electronics package, battery package, electric motors, and generators. This will allow the unmanned vessel to operate offshore for up to 30 days without charging or refueling. During operations, both the USV vessel crew and ROV operators will be co-located in the same remote operating centre.

Project manager for the USV-project at SEAM, Karl Norheim, says this project represents an important step in pushing green, maritime technology further.

“This is an incredibly exciting project to be a part of, and we are very much looking forward to working with USV AS and the other partners. This vessel represents an important step in the further development of practical, green, maritime technology”.

The vessel, which is 24 meters long and 7.5 wide, will be built at the Astilleros Gondán shipyard in Spain.

Chair of USV AS, and CEO of DeepOcean, Øyvind Mikaelsen, says this is an excellent way to reduce costs and CO2-emissions from offshore operations.

“With our new USV, we are moving the captain onshore who will remain in control over the offshore operations. We will operate the vessel and the ROV from an onshore remote operations center. This is an excellent way of reducing costs, CO2 footprint and limit personnel exposure to offshore operations”.

Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad Offshore, highlights the Norwegian maritime industry and its’ collective experience with rough maritime conditions, as the key to unlocking the technology needed to realize safe, autonomous operations offshore.

“The collective expertise between the three JV partners, and our experience from the harsh environment of the North Sea has allowed us to design this technology solution that can operate offshore for up to 30 days”.

Håvard Framnes, Investment Director at Østensjø, says: “It is fantastic that we can provide new technology to the market that not only reduces emissions significantly, but also reduces costs and increases safety in offshore operations. This shows that the Norwegian offshore cluster is at the forefront of the energy transition. We have good experience in doing business with Solstad Offshore and DeepOcean, and we are pleased to grow the cooperation with this new winning technology".

Delivery of the hybrid diesel-electric systems is expected by fall of 2024. The delivery of the USV is expected by the end of 2024, and the plan is that the USV – following offshore testing – will be ready for operations in 2025.


Read the official press release here:

Illustration: USV AS

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