Paris-based Bourbon Offshore has entered into a memorandum of understanding with UK concern Automated Ships (ASL) to build the world's first autonomous, fully-automated and cost-efficient prototype vessel for offshore operations with Kongsberg.
Fleet builder and operator Bourbon will give detailed input to the development and design of the Hronn project, ensuring flexibility, reliability and cost efficiency to operate safely and effectively in the demanding offshore environment.
Then, in the second phase of the project, Bourbon and ASL search the subsidies to finance the effective construction of the prototype for Hronn, a light-duty, offshore utility ship servicing the offshore energy, hydrographic and scientific and offshore fish-farming industries.
The idea is for Hronn to also be utilised as a remotely automated vehicle and autonomous underwater vehicle support ship and standby vessel, able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels.
ASL has progressed the original catamaran design of Hronn since the project launch on November 1, opting for a mono-hulled vessel of steel construction to give more payload capacity and greater flexibility in the diverse range of operations.
Bourbon's entry to the Hronn project follows it recently joining forces with Kongsberg in a new collaboration to develop digital solutions for next-generation connected and autonomous vessels.
The two companies will execute joint projects to develop new ways of efficient operations in the offshore services industry, with a fast time-to market.
Kongsberg will deliver all major marine equipment for the design, construction and operation of Hronn, 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 Hronn's full remote operations.
DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority will oversee Hronn's Sea trials in the Trondheim fjord.