Japanese firm Mitsui OSK Lines has joined forces with Sekido and MOL Marine to perform an underwater drone demonstration test using a remotely operated subsea vehicle (subsea ROV).

The ROV inspects the submerged areas of the hull on a cable-laying ship operated by MOL Marine.

The viability of checking for faults and damage to submerged outboard equipment was proved along with determining the damage status to the ship bottom using a subsea ROV.

Mitsui said that outboard equipment and vessel bottom fouling may have a negative impact on vessel operation such as reduced speed and higher fuel consumption. Due to this, periodic inspection and cleaning need to be carried out.

Inspections are usually performed by divers, but the work will be hindered due to weather and sea conditions. In some cases, work takes longer and will be expensive.

Following the demonstration test, the participants confirmed the operability of the subsea ROV and the precision of the video images.

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“Following the demonstration test, the participants confirmed the operability of the subsea ROV and the precision of the video images.”

They also verified the efficiency and safety of the method as an alternative to conventional inspection.

MOL adopts new technologies on a continuous basis to make ship maintenance and management more effective and promote safe vessel operation.

In a separate development, Mitsui’s group company, MOL Chemical Tankers, has purchased a 20% stake in Den Hartogh Holding from Den Hartogh Beheer.

The two companies will shift chemicals in tank containers and on-board parcel chemical tankers through a new tank terminal in Antwerp, Belgium.