VARD, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels announced that it has secured a new contract for the design and construction of eight Marine Robotic Vessels for Ocean Infinity.
In partnership with Ocean Infinity, VARD has designed a unique multi-purpose platform with custom design and technology features allowing onshore remote control, light crewed or uncrewed operations, and the introduction of alternative fuels such as green ammonia. With a length of 78 meters, the vessels will be the first of their kind and represent a giant leap forward for the maritime industry.
The series of eight vessels will expand Ocean Infinity’s newly launched Armada fleet, comprising the latest in technology and marine robotics including autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely operated surface vessels. The new vessels are especially developed to serve as multi-role-vessels and will support Ocean Infinity’s operations worldwide from its control centres.
VARD’s specialized subsidiaries are involved in the development of this series of vessels. Design and engineering are currently ongoing at Vard Design, and development of onboard control systems at Vard Electro in Ålesund, Norway.
“We are honoured to be chosen as Ocean Infinity’s partner in this project. Together we take a huge leap forward into a new segment of the maritime industry by developing and providing vessels prepared for the future. All according to our strategy for innovation and sustainability,” says Alberto Maestrini, CEO in VARD.
“The impact and the scale of this robotic fleet will spark the biggest transformation the maritime industry has seen since sail gave way to steam. With our new fleet we will be able to provide sustainable services to all corners of the industry from offshore energy, to logistics and transport,” Oliver Plunkett, CEO in Ocean Infinity, adds.
Unique ship design and technology
The VARD 9 60 design is developed together with a customer committed to, and with high ambitions, for delivering low environmental impact marine services. In close cooperation with regulatory bodies, VARD has designed the vessels for an ultra-low carbon footprint and they are among the first vessels to be prepared for green ammonia as a fuel with fuel cell and battery technology. Furthermore, the vessels will provide safe launch and recovery platforms for ROVs and other robotic systems through two large moonpools arranged with VARD’s optimized and well-proven damping system.
“With a high focus in the design process of making the vessels energy efficient, the vessels are equipped with highly optimized hull forms, propellers, and engine arrangements. The vessels are inherently developed for safe and secure prolonged missions with a redundant mindset like split engine and propulsion rooms, redundant cooling systems, sensor systems, automation and power management systems, navigation and communication systems,” mentions Ove Bjørneset, VP Research and Innovation in VARD.
Vard Electro has further developed its well-proven SeaQ Integrated Automation System and SeaQ Power Management System together with the class society to allow for safe remote operations and cyber-secure communication. By utilizing its long experience as a system integrator, Vard Electro will deliver a complete electrical systems package from engineering through installation, integration, and commissioning.
A broad range of suppliers and contractors in the Norwegian Maritime Cluster are involved in the project and it creates a considerable positive spin-off effect in the region.
The series of eight vessels will be built at VARD’s shipyard Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam, scheduled for deliveries in the period from mid-2022 to end-2023.
About Ocean Infinity
Ocean Infinity is a marine robotics company that deploys autonomous robots, typically in fleet formation. Using the power of technology Ocean Infinity’s mission is to thrive by delivering outstanding value for clients across all markets through finding the safest, most environmentally responsible, and highest value ways of operating at sea.