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Fugro launches uncrewed surface vessels in the Netherlands

November 11, 2021  - By
The Blue Essence USV Orca. (Photo: Fugro)

The Blue Essence USV Orca. (Photo: Fugro)

Fugro’s Blue Essence, an offshore certified uncrewed surface vessel (USV) with an electric remotely operated vehicle (eROV), will begin its first project in the Netherlands.

The vessel is controlled from an onshore remote operations center (ROC) via a satellite connection. It will be used for the inspection of offshore assets, construction support services, and hydrographic and geophysical surveys.

USVs play an important role in the future of the maritime sector by improving safety, reducing carbon emissions, and delivering data more efficiently. USV operations remove personnel from high-risk offshore environments to an onshore ROC and reduce carbon footprint by 95 % when compared to traditional survey methods. Cloud-based data processing allows near real-time data delivery, leading to faster and more informed decision making.

“We welcome this special vessel in our port. It’s the first time a remotely controlled uncrewed vessel will go to the North Sea from the port of Rotterdam to carry out a project without any personnel on board,” said René de Vries, Harbour Master of the Rotterdam Port Authority. “We are proud that this project will be executed safely due to the careful preparation of all parties involved. We expect the development of digitalization in the shipping sector will improve the safety and accessibility of the Rotterdam port.”

Since 2020, Fugro has been deploying its Blue Shadow USV fleet for medium- to large-scale hydrographic survey applications. Fugro’s first Blue Essence has completed its first remote inspection, in Asia Pacific.

“I am excited that we now also have this newest generation of USVs available for European clients,” said Erik-Jan Bijvank, group director Europe and Africa at Fugro. “Over the coming years, Fugro will further expand its fleet of USVs for safer, more sustainable solutions for marine operations.”

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.