JULY 11, 2017 — Offshore services giant Bourbon has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support Automated Ships Ltd. in commissioning the world’s first unmanned and fully-automated vessel for offshore operations, Hrönn, in collaboration with the project’s primary technology partner, Kongsberg.
Bourbon will leverage its experience in building and operating a standardized fleet to provide detailed input to the development and design of the Hrönn project.
In the second phase of the project, Bourbon and Autmated Ships will join forces to look for subsidies to finance the actual construction of the prototype vessel.
Hrönn is a light-duty, offshore utility ship servicing the offshore energy, hydrographic & scientific and offshore fish-farming industries. It can also be utilised as a ROV and AUV support ship and standby vessel, able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels.
Automated Ships Ltd has progressed the original catamaran design of Hrönn since the project launch on November 1, 2016, opting for a monohull vessel of steel construction, to provide more payload capacity and greater flexibility in the range of operations.
Bourbon’s entry to the Hrönn project, follows earlier news that it has joined forces with Kongsberg in a new collaboration to develop digital solutions for next generation connected and autonomous vessels.
Kongsberg will contribute its technology expertise and deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction and operation of Hrönn, including all systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication. Its vessel control systems including K-Pos dynamic positioning, K-Chief automation and K-Bridge ECDIS and Radar will be replicated at an Onshore Control Centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn.
Hrönn’s Sea trials will take place in Norway’s officially designated automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). The Hrönn will ultimately be DNV classed and Norwegian flagged.
“In this era of digitalization of industrial services, we are pleased to join this forward-looking project thus demonstrating the positioning of Bourbon as a world reference in terms of operational excellence and customer experience,” said Gael Bodénès, Chief Operating Officer, Bourbon Corporation.
“Bourbon is a world leading marine services company and we are confident that alongside Kongsberg as technology lead, they will provide a valuable contribution to the design and operation of Hrönn,” said Brett Phaneuf, CEO, Automated Ships Ltd.
“We are pleased to be collaborating with such expert partners in the development of Hrönn, a vessel that will show how digitalisation and autonomy have the potential to revolutionise the offshore services market,” said Stene Førsund, EVP Global Sales and Marketing, Kongsberg Maritime.
Automated Ships Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of M Subs Ltd., a U.K. company that designs, constructs and delivers prototype, manned and unmanned underwater vehicles and sub-sea robotic systems.