Fugro’s first unmanned ship Blue Essence sails in Rotterdam

11 November 2021
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The Blue Essence is the first offshore certified unmanned ship (USV) that can launch an electrically remote-controlled underwater robot. During the operations, the ship and the underwater robot will be operated from a control room onshore via a satellite connection.

They will be deployed for the inspection of offshore constructions, in supporting building work and for carrying out hydrographic and geophysical research.

Harbourmaster René de Vries: 'We welcome this special ship in our port. It is the first time that from the port of Rotterdam a remote-controlled unmanned ship will go to the North Sea and activities will be carried out by a vessel without the presence of a crew on board, and we are proud that this pilot can be carried out safely thanks to the careful preparations of all the parties involved. We expect that the development of digitisationin the shipping industry will further promote the safety and accessibility of the port of Rotterdam. This pilot fits within our ambition of testing new technologies which can make our port even smarter, more efficient and better.'

Reduction of CO2 footprint

USVs play an important role in the future of the maritime sector because they lead to improved safety, lower CO2 emissions and a more efficient delivery of data. Thanks to the deployment of USVs, the deployment of personnel will be moved from the high-risk offshore environment to a control room onshore and the CO2 footprint will be reduced by 95%, compared to the traditional research methods. The more efficient delivery of research results will be achieved by means of cloud-based processing techniques and will enable faster and better informed decision-making.

The Blue Essence, first offshore certified unmanned vessel (USV)

Fugro is worldwide a leading Geo-data specialist and collects and analyses information about the earth and the structures built on it. Erik-Jan Bijvank, group director for Europe and Africa at Fugro: “Recently, Fugro’s first Blue Essence carried out its first unmanned inspection in the Indian Ocean. I am pleased that we now also have this new generation of USVs available for our European clients.”

Source: Fugro