Fugro’s Blue Essence becomes first UAE-flagged uncrewed surface vessel
Fugro has received full navigation licensing from the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for its Blue Essence uncrewed surface vessel (USV).
The navigation licensing for Fugro Pegasus represents the first registration of an over-the-horizon USV in the UAE, making the Blue Essence USV the first vessel in its class to meet multiple independent maritime authorities’ operational standards.
The 12-meter Blue Essence vessel, built by SEA-KIT International, was designed for inspecting subsea assets and can be controlled from anywhere in the world. The Remote Inspection Solution incorporates the Blue Volta e-ROV, which extends the inspection portfolio up to 400 meters of water depth.
According to Fugro, the USV’s advanced systems and an array of geophysical sensors allow subsea inspection asset and site characterization surveys, enabling it to conduct operations with a 95 per cent reduction of emissions compared to conventional vessel operations.
“There were no existing regulations for uncrewed vessels, so we formed a working group with UAE authorities and local partners to facilitate the process,” said Hannes Swiegers, Director of Remote Operations, Middle East and India, at Fugro.
“We are proud to have achieved the first-ever registration of an over-the-horizon USV in the country and are confident that the vessel will support the UAE’s efforts to maintain their subsea infrastructure, whilst contributing to environmental protection and maritime safety.”
Fugro launched its Blue Essence USV in Abu Dhabi in October 2022. The vessel was launched at Mugharraq port and sailed to Al Mirfa.
The Al Mirfa port is the home to the Fugro Pegasus and the central hub of Fugro’s remote and autonomous operations in the UAE.