Wilhelmsen has taken a 21% stake in Reach Subsea ASA, a Haugesund-based, Oslo-listed subcontractor providing subsea services with high-spec remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV). The subsea vehicles are operated by highly qualifed offshore personnel supported by onshore engineering resources.
A principal aim of the investment is for Wilhelmsen and Reach to establish a strategic partnership to commercialise the Reach Remote concept, seen to have significant development potential in a range of subsea engineering fields including the development of renewable energies, carbon storage, and deep-sea mining.
Reach Remote, supported by a grant from Innovation Norway, is scheduled to take delivery of its first two unmanned surface vehicles (USV) in 2023. Developed in cooperation with Kongsberg Maritime and Massterly, the company revealed that its aim is to offer a full range of subsea services from a low-emission, cost-effective, remote, and autonomous fleet by 2025.
The USVs will be controlled from Massterly’s onshore control centres and will operate as mobile power banks, data centres, and communication modules for underwater ROVs. The units will be capable of real-time operator control, autonomous operation, or a hybrid mix of the two, the companies said.
Wilhelmsen’s executive vice president, New Energy, Jan Eyvin Wang, explained: “We have been actively assessing the subsea market to find a company that could add complementary scale to our ambition within renewables. We see potential to grow within emerging sectors such as offshore wind, subsea cables and other offshore electrification infrastructure, carbon storage and deep-sea mining. Through their strong customer relations, extensive experience and cutting-edge technology gained from offshore oil and gas, Reach Subsea is an ideal partner.”
Wilhelmsen takes 21% stake in specialist subsea firm