Singapore companies F-Drones and Marco Polo Marine are teaming up to create what they say will be the world’s first large-scale, electric aerial delivery UAVs designed to service offshore wind farms – and at 90% less cost than current transport options.
Marco Polo Marine, an integrated maritime logistics company, signed the memorandum of understanding in the project with F-Drones based on the former’s experience in developing special purpose, proprietary UAVs. Under the agreement, the partners will rely on F-Drone’s existing craft, which can fly up to 100 kg payloads over 100 km, to build new delivery craft for supplying ships and offshore wind farms.
An objective within that plan is to produce offshore wind farm delivery drones that operate at 90% lower costs than current methods, which largely rely on boats and helicopters. Those automated aerial vehicles are also expected to speed transport times to and from destinations by 400%. The companies also calculate that use of UAVs for getting supplies to the platforms will lower carbon outputs by 99% compared to supply boats or crew transfer vessels for the job.
“The world’s energy transition not only requires building renewable energy assets, but also the ability to service them sustainably,” said Nicolas Ang, F-drones CEO. “Our partnership with Marco Polo Marine is a case-in-point, which has the potential to transform the future of logistics across offshore wind farms globally.”
Once the tailor-made, automated drones are ready for deployment, the partners plan to market them to clients in the Asia-Pacific region that routinely transport supplies and critical items to offshore wind installations. They are convinced F-Drones’ work on its own long-haul, heavy payload UAVs will dovetail with Marco Polo Marine’s operating and commercial experience serving the diverse and fast-changing needs of myriad maritime customers.
“The partnership is an example of different industry players with aligned values coming together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is in line with global and Singapore government initiatives,” said Sean Lee, CEO of Marco Polo Marine. “By enabling efficient and sustainable maritime logistics, this collaboration will boost the offshore maritime industry, as it transitions to fuels with a lower or minimal carbon footprint.”
In addition to its development of specialized UAVs, F-Drones says it was the first company in the world to provide 24-hour commercial beyond-visual-line-of-sight deliveries.