Norwegian subsea services company Reach Subsea has signed a contract with Kongsberg Maritime for the construction of the first two in a series of Reach Remote unmanned offshore surface vessels (USVs).
These units will serve as mobile power banks, data centers, and communication modules for underwater ROVs (remotely operated vessels). Both the USVs and ROVs will be operated from an onshore control center.
"We are happy and proud to achieve this important milestone for the Reach Remote project, which will be a gamechanger for the industry and for us. Reach Remote will enable 20-30 percent reduced cost for clients and 90-100 percent reduction in emissions compared to today’s large, manned control vessels,” said CEO of Reach Subsea, Jostein Alendal.
The Reach Remote project is developed by Reach Subsea jointly with Kongsberg Maritime and Massterly.
Reach Subsea expects delivery of the two first Reach Remote systems in mid-2023. The total investment for the first two Reach Remote units, which includes the Kongsberg contract as well as upfront development and infrastructure investments to the benefit of future units is NOK 380-400 million (around $43 - $45,2 million).
The investment will be financed through loans from SR-Bank and Eksfin and proceeds from the private equity placement in which Wilhelmsen invested NOK 150 million in February 2022.
“With our strong partners, world-leading technology and solid financial foundation, Reach Remote is an attractive project, which we will bring to the market with perfect timing. We see firm demand from the traditional oil and gas segments combined with rapidly growing emerging market segments like renewable energy. The interest in Reach Remote is strong in all parts of our global network of customers,” said Jostein Alendal.
Egil Haugsdal, President of Kongsberg Maritime said: “The Reach Remote project has the impressive ambition of providing a full portfolio of subsea services from a low-emission, cost-effective remote and autonomous fleet. These improvements to operational emissions and safety sit very neatly in line with Kongsberg Maritime’s wider objective.”
In February 2022, a collaboration agreement with Wilhelmsen, covering an equity investment in Reach Subsea and a strategic co-operation for the commercialization of Reach Remote was announced.
"Wilhelmsen has been a pioneer in driving autonomous and remote marine operations and represents the ideal global partner needed for Reach to commercialize Reach Remote. Additionally, Reach Subsea has recently announced the acquisitions of OCTIO, including Monviro, and iSURVEY. The acquisitions represent a strong strategic fit with the Reach Remote service concept," Reach Subsea reminded Wednesday.