Photo: PB3 PowerBuoy operating in the North Sea for Premier Oil (Courtesy of OPT)

OPT hires contractor for PowerBuoy deployment off Chile

Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has hired SeaTrepid International to deploy a turnkey PB3 PowerBuoy and oceanographic monitoring system off the coast of Chile.

A photo of PB3 PowerBuoy operating in the North Sea for Premier Oil (Courtesy of OPT)
PB3 PowerBuoy operating in the North Sea for Premier Oil (Courtesy of OPT)

Using remote collaboration tools, SeaTrepid’s personnel is virtually training on technical procedures and installation requirements with the OPT project engineering team to advance a planned December deployment.

This first-ever third-party installation of a PowerBuoy solution without the hands-on participation of OPT personnel comes due to circumstances created by the global coronavirus pandemic, the company said.

International travel restrictions and COVID-19 concerns delayed deployment initially planned for earlier this year, OPT noted.

The system will be deployed off the coast of Las Cruces as an autonomous offshore platform powering a suite of oceanographic sensors and transmitting real-time data back to land.

OPT noted it shipped a PB3 PowerBuoy and several components to Chile earlier in 2020.

George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said: “The global pandemic has caused us to rethink our approach to deployments in distant locations by using remote collaboration tools.

“Remotely managed system deployments and recoveries that leverage local contractors and dovetail with existing marine operations can reduce cost and increase flexibility for our customers. SeaTrepid’s reputation for safe execution of complex marine operations gives us great confidence that our first remotely managed deployment will be successful”.

Bob Christ, Chief Executive Officer of SeaTrepid, said: “OPT’s cutting edge technology blends well with our offshore operations approach of combining unmanned systems, remote sensing, and applied technical solutions in order to further our knowledgebase of the world’s ocean environment”.

As the balance of the equipment arrives in Chile, OPT project engineers are supplying detailed procedures and documentation and will use remote collaboration tools to guide local contractors through system assembly.

OPT will conduct full remote testing from its New Jersey operations base. SeaTrepid personnel and OPT project engineers will be in open contact using remote collaboration tools throughout the operation to ensure a smooth deployment, the company informed.