Photo: SEA-KIT

SEA-KIT bags two USV orders from Fugro

Dutch surveyor Fugro has ordered two 12-metre SEA-KIT X class uncrewed surface vessels (USVs).

The two new USVs are the first of multiple builds for Fugro as part of the partnership.

Essex-based SEA-KIT and Fugro first announced their partnership in March this year.

The schedule also includes the design, build and delivery of SEA-KIT’s 24-metre Omega class USV in 2021.

The first of the 12-metre SEA-KIT X class USVs will be delivered to Fugro in Perth, Australia, in Q4 2020.

Specifically, it will feature remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) launch-and-recovery systems and station-keeping capabilities.

The vessel will conduct completely uncrewed ROV pipeline inspections in up to 400 metres water depth on Australia’s NW Shelf.

The second USV, which will have a similar fit-out, will go to Fugro in Aberdeen in Q1 2021.

The first order is already under construction at SEA-KIT’s facility in Tollesbury, Essex.

Ivar de Josselin de Jong, director Remote Inspection at Fugro, said:

“Integration of the new USVs into our global network of remote operation centres (ROCs) will allow us to provide our clients with an entirely remote-controlled inspection solution for the first time in history.

“In addition to applications in the oil and gas industry, we specifically foresee an important role for our new remote inspection solution in the rapidly growing offshore wind sector.”

Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT CEO, also stated:

“Our company vision is all about providing the technology to solve future offshore challenges now and this order is a major step forward in proving the capabilities of our USVs in addressing those challenges.

“It also clearly demonstrates an industry shift towards uncrewed operations and the commitment of key industry players to reducing the carbon footprint of commercial offshore operations.”

Furthermore, the new USVs will consume up to 95 per cent less fuel than traditional, crewed vessels.

This supports international ambitions for net zero global emissions in the marine industry.