Norwegian trio launches remote operations joint ventures

Solstad Offshore, DeepOcean Group and Østensjø Group have established two joint ventures (JVs) aiming to provide remote and semi-autonomous maritime operations services to the marine and offshore industries.

One of the JVs, named Remota AS, will own and operate onshore Remote Operations Centres, while the other JV will develop, own and operate unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). The three partners will each own 33.33% of the two JVs.

“Solstad, DeepOcean and Østensjø already have the technologies, competence and assets in place, but teaming up will further enhance the capacity, growth prospects and market penetration of our remote operations offering,” said Lars Peder Solstad, CEO of Solstad Offshore.

“Operators of offshore energy assets have challenged the supplier industry to deliver even more cost-efficient services. This is our response.”

Remota will offer remote operations and semi-autonomous maritime services to existing vessels, as well as remote operations of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and USVs.

In addition, the company’s first Remote Operations Centre will function as a control centre for drone technologies. That centre is already in operation, currently controlling DeepOcean’s ROVs from Haugesund, Norway, having been up and running since 2019.

“This is about taking the current experience, track record and technology and bring it to a bigger scale, thereby making it a more powerful offering to the ocean-based industries. Remota will have operations and turnover from day one, and we will immediately double the support capacity at the Remote Operations Centre in Haugesund,” said Øyvind Mikaelsen, CEO of DeepOcean.

The centre will operate independently of its three owners and offer its services to all operators, vessel owners and service companies worldwide, initially focusing on offshore shipping companies and ROV-operators but with the goal of expanding to other industries over time.

The second JV will be called USV AS, a separate company for investing in USVs equipped with a WROV (Work-Class ROV) onboard.

The USV technology has been developed by DeepOcean, with the two other partners having been involved in the final stage of development. The partners estimate that the USV system can reduce CO2 emissions by more than 90% compared with a conventional offshore vessel when conducting subsea operations.

“By introducing USVs, we are moving the captain onshore who will remain in control over the offshore operations. This is an excellent way of reducing cost and the CO2 footprint,” said Mr Mikaelsen.

“By limiting personnel exposure to offshore operations, this also introduces a brand-new safety aspect. It also represents a significant business potential for the JV.”

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