The VARD 9 60 design, which is a multi-purpose platform allowing onshore remote control and light crewed or un-crewed operations, will also feature fuel cells to enable future operation on green ammonia.
Fincantieri subsidiary Vard Electro will also integrate its SeaQ Integrated Automation System and SeaQ Power Management System onboard the vessels. A broad range of suppliers and contractors in the Norwegian Maritime Cluster will also be involved in the project.
The eight 78-metre vessels will be built at VARD’s shipyard Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam, with from mid-2022 to 2023.
‘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, according to our strategy researching increasingly innovative and sustainable solutions,’ commented VARD CEO Alberto Maestrini.
Ocean Infinity is a marine robotics company that deploys autonomous robots, typically in fleet formation. The series of eight vessels will expand Ocean Infinity’s newly launched Armada fleet, which includes autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely operated surface vessels. The new vessels are being developed to serve as multi-role-vessels and will support Ocean Infinity’s operations worldwide.
‘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,’ said Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett.
He continued, 'We, as an industry, have to embrace the need to be carbon neutral. It is not, however, something that will be achieved overnight or indeed in a year, rather it will be a journey over time requiring bold leaps forward and challenge to all convention. This move is a giant step forward towards that goal.’