Saipem, Fincantieri Sign MoU for Subsea Robotics

Partnership Targets Better Monitoring of Critical Underwater Infrastructure

Italian companies Saipem and Fincantieri have inked a Memorandum of Understanding, or MoU, to jointly explore opportunities in the field of autonomous subsea vehicles.

The deal between energy services provider Saipem and shipbuilder Fincantieri aims to enhance the use of subsea robotics to monitor and control critical underwater infrastructure and rescue activities.

Both commercial and industrial opportunities will be assessed, according to the MoU.

The collaboration will see Fincantieri’s surface vessels and submarines integrated with Saipem’s “Hydrone” drone program, which is being developed by Sonsub, Saipem’s subsea technology and development center based in Marghera and Trieste in Italy.

“We are the first company in the world to have commercialized subsea drones for intervention and inspection activities of underwater infrastructure in the offshore energy market,” Saipem said on its social media channels.

Saipem’s Hydrones can operate at depths of up to 3,000 meters without any cable connections to the surface and travel up to 100 kilometers from their immersion between one battery recharge and another.

The drones, which have already been used the offshore energy market for several major energy companies, can be deployed for continuous seabed operations for up to 12 months.

“By signing this agreement with Fincantieri, we aim to become a key reference for the subsea domain, whose strategic relevance is becoming increasingly evident in the current geopolitical context,” Saipem added.

According to the company, Fincantieri has built 180 submarines since 1929, with more than half of those at its Muggiano shipyard in northwest Italy.

Saipem is a member of the Breakbulk Global Shipper Network, an extensive networking platform for executives operating at the top end of the project supply chain in sectors such as oil and gas, energy and renewables, mining and minerals, construction, forestry, industrial manufacturing, and aerospace.

The next in-person meet-up for BGSN members will be at Breakbulk Europe 2024 on 21-23 May at Rotterdam Ahoy in the Netherlands.