MARINE robotics company Ocean Infinity has announced plans to establish a robotic ship operations centre in Tasmania.

The company believes the new operations centre, backed by the Tasmanian government, would bring the state into a new era in safer, more environmentally sustainable marine operations.

Ocean Infinity believes that robotic technology is the key to safer and more environmentally responsible operations at sea. 

The company also specialises in ocean exploration; it was involved in the search for Malaysia Airline Flight 370 in 2018 and later that year found the wreck of Argentina submarine ARA San Juan which had disappeared a year earlier.

Ocean Infinity’s new operations centre in Tasmania aims to make remote ship operations a reality. The company said it has an established position in Australian maritime operations as a provider of hydrographic data services to the government.

David Field, Ocean Infinity’ managing director in Australia and New Zealand said the operation centre would give the company a more established infrastructure to deliver hydrography services for the government.

“And of course also provide capacity to take on more work in this high growth region,” Mr Field said.

“Ocean Infinity has already demonstrated that the use of robotics can make for more sustainable operations in Australian waters. 

“In a recent data project for the government, our robotic vessels collected 58% of the total data but contributed just 4% of the total fuel CO2 emissions.” 

The Australian Operations Centre is the latest step in a worldwide roll-out, with centres already operational in the UK and Sweden, and planned for Singapore and another Asian location yet to be announced.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff said the new centre highlighted the state’s “growing prominence as a hub for maritime innovation”. 

“Ocean Infinity’s establishment will deliver up to 50 new fulltime jobs, providing highly skilled positions in the maritime and technology sectors, strategically aligning with Tasmania’s competitive advantages,” Mr Rockliff said. 

Ocean Infinity plans to operate the first in its fleet of 36-metre Armada ships from the Australian operations centre. 

The ships are suited to large-scale hydrography work, enabling the work to be conducted with fewer people at sea and with far fewer emissions than a conventional ship. 

Minister for advanced manufacturing and defence industries and minister for science and technology Madeleine Ogilvie said Tasmania’s innovative and rich maritime, science, and technology sectors made it the perfect home for Ocean Infinity.

“The company’s commitment to transitioning its operations toward onshore operations centres which oversee the robotic vessel-based work marks a significant step in maritime innovation,” Ms Ogilvie said. 

“Ocean Infinity’s substantial robotic vessel fleet, including the recently commissioned 78-metre lean-crewed ships, underscores their ambition to lead global robotic shipping operations.

“Not only does Ocean Infinity’s establishment strengthen Tasmania’s maritime and technology sectors, it provides further opportunities for collaboration with our internationally renowned Australian Maritime College.”

Ocean Infinity will soon embark on the search for suitable premises in Hobart.