By Sam Bridge
Once developed in agreement with Robert Allan, the tugs will join Safeen, the maritime service arm of Abu Dhabi Ports
Abu Dhabi Ports has announced its collaboration with Robert Allan Ltd to develop the world’s first fully unmanned autonomous commercial marine tugs.
Once developed, the tugs will join Safeen, Abu Dhabi Ports’ maritime service arm, which maintains an expanding fleet of world-class service vessels.
The autonomous vessels will be able to operate in far more adverse weather conditions, helping to increase efficiency and enhance operational safety.
Abu Dhabi Ports said it will work closely with one of Canada’s oldest privately-owned Naval Architectural and Marine Engineering firms on the research and development of remotely-controlled marine tugs that will be fully unmanned.
Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports said: “It’s a top priority for Abu Dhabi Ports to lead the charge towards digitalising the region’s maritime operations, and we are committed to providing a pioneering model for the sector. Adopting digital solutions and keeping up with the changing demands of global trade have proven to be key drivers for economic growth and are integral towards achieving our goal of being a smart port.
“Developing solutions and building strategic partnerships with industry experts will help achieve a paradigm shift in maritime operations worldwide, and globally in line with the directives of the leadership."
Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Abu Dhabi Ports Group CEO, added: “Our cooperation with Robert Allan to develop a new generation of tugboats equipped with superior capabilities and modern technologies, reflects our commitment to ensuring that the infrastructure at Abu Dhabi Ports is at the cutting edge.”
Mike Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Robert Allan Ltd, said: “We are excited to cooperate with Abu Dhabi Ports in this initiative, which provides us with an optimal opportunity to develop the world’s first fleet of remotely-operated tugboats for the commercial sector.”