Fugro has launched its new USV (unmanned surface vessel), the Blue Essence, in the Netherlands. The 12-metre vessel can launch and recover an integrated electrical remotely operated vehicle (eROV), making it ideal for subsea and offshore inspection, construction support, and hydrographic and geophysical surveys. Blue Essence can be controlled via satellite from any of Fugro’s Remote Operation Centres (ROC) located around the world.
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.
René de Vries, Harbour Master of the Rotterdam Port Authority, commented: “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. We are proud that this project will be executed safely due to the careful preparation of all parties involved. We expect the development of digitalisation in the shipping sector will improve the safety and accessibility of the Rotterdam port.”
Erik-Jan Bijvank, Group Director for Europe and Africa at Fugro, noted: “Fugro is a leader in the operation of USVs. Since 2020, Fugro has been deploying its Blue Shadow USV fleet for medium- to large-scale hydrographic survey applications. Recently, 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. Over the coming years, Fugro will further expand its fleet of USVs for safer, more sustainable solutions for marine operations.”