Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Fugro strengthens position in marine robotics with acquisition of Sea-Kit International

Fugro has reached a binding agreement for the acquisition of the remaining shares in Sea-Kit International, a long-standing partner in the development of hi-tech uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) for low carbon emission maritime operations and research. 

For several years, Fugro and Sea-Kit have collaborated closely to push the boundaries of USV technology, achieving numerous breakthroughs and milestones along the way, including:

  • Delivery of the first commercially available remotely operated USV and electric powered remotely operated vehicle (ROV) combi solution to the offshore asset inspection and monitoring market;
  • Approvals from various authorities in Europe, Middle East and Australia to operate the jointly developed USV and ROV combi solution through a global network of remote operations centres;
  • Delivery of five Fugro Blue Essence 12 metre USVs spread across all key regions;
  • Completing the world’s first fully remote inspection of offshore wind farm assets carried out by an USV and integrated ROV;
  • Winning multiple awards globally for our innovations contributing to safer, faster and more sustainable offshore operations.

Ben Simpson, CEO and founder of Sea-Kit International, has been a key leader in the partnership, playing a fundamental role in reshaping the maritime industry. His entrepreneurialism was instrumental in the growth and success of the Sea-Kit business.

Under Simpson’s leadership, Sea-Kit fostered a culture of innovation, excellence and adaptability, propelling the company to the forefront of the autonomous maritime industry.

Henk van Dalen, director Fugro Blue Robotics, says: “We are excited to welcome the talented Sea-Kit team into the Fugro family.

“We look forward to leveraging their knowledge and growing the Sea-Kit product offering to the maritime industry as we continue to drive innovation in this space.

“We are committed to ensuring a smooth integration process and will work closely with our new team members to maximise the value delivered to our combined customer base.”

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. SEA-KIT will continue to provide clients with high-quality USV products for cost-effective operations with enhanced safety and significantly reduced carbon emissions.

New advancements to look forward to in the wake of this acquisition includes the launch of the next generation of USVs, the Blue Eclipse 18 metre USV specially designed for fast pipeline and deep-water asset inspection activities, as well as a zero-emissions hydrogen-powered USV.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *