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Mermaid and PTT units set up AI and robotics technology joint venture

The subsidiaries of Thailand’s Mermaid Maritime and AI and PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) will set up a joint venture firm to develop robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology for use in commercial subsea engineering services.

The 50-50 joint venture ZeaQuest will be established by Mermaid Subsea Services (Thailand) and AI and Robotics Ventures (ARV), subsidiary of EP-Tech Ventures which is in turn wholly-owned by PTTEP.

The subsea services from ZeaQuest will be available to oil and gas companies, as well as renewable energy corporates operating in offshore businesses, both in Asia and other regions.

“What our customers expect from us are cutting-edge technologies and competent personnel. Therefore, the partnership between Mermaid and ARV is a significant strategic move that will uplift Mermaid’s subsea services to be more efficient, by deploying robotics and AI technologies developed by ARV,” said Chalermchai Mahagitsiri, ceo of Mermaid.

“In the initial phase, ZeaQuest plans to use these technologies in the inspection, repair & maintenance (IRM) infrastructure installation support, and subsea engineering services for national oil and gas corporates in Southeast Asia, and later expand these services to the Middle East and the rest of the world,” he added.

Dr Thana Slanvetpan, general manager of ARV pointed out that ARV is developing technologies including an Inspection-class Autonomous Underwater Vehicle or Xplorer, a Subsea Flowline Control and Repair Robot or Nautilus, and software and data analytics technologies utilising Internet of Things (IoT) which the company aims to commercialise by 2021.

“This partnership between Mermaid and ARV is a critical milestone in the utilisation of highly complex AI and robotics technologies in surveillance, inspection, repair and maintenance of subsea infrastructure and equipment,” he said.

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