Bourbon joins automated offshore vessel project

11 Jul 2017
The new-look vessel, redesigned as a monohull concept, will benefit from Bourbon's offshore expertise

The new-look vessel, redesigned as a monohull concept, will benefit from Bourbon's offshore expertise

Offshore services company Bourbon has signed a memorandum of understanding to support Automated Ships’ project to build the world’s first automated offshore vessel.

In collaboration with the project’s primary technology partner, Kongsberg, Bourbon will provide input into the development and design of automated light duty utility vessel Hrönn. In the second phase of the project, Bourbon and Automated Ships will jointly seek grants to finance the construction of a prototype.

As reported, the project to build the vessel was launched in November. The 37m loa vessel was originally conceived as a catamaran but has been modified to a monohulled concept to better suit intended operations. The vessel will be used be as a remotely operated or autonomous vehicle support ship and standby vessel. It will also be able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels.

Kongsberg will deliver all major marine equipment 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.

Hrönn’s sea trials will take place in Norway’s automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA), which will class and flag the vessel respectively.