October 27, 2023

Record contract lifts Optilift to the elite division

Optilift has signed a contract with PALFINGER and Aker BP to jointly develop and deliver the world´s first autonomous offshore cranes.

The first cranes will be delivered to Aker BP platforms Yggdrasil and Valhall within the next few years. Five out of seven cranes will be fully remotely operated from an onshore control room in Stavanger. When operational, the cranes will pave the way for unmanned offshore platforms, and contribute to improved safety, reduced costs, and lower CO2-emissions.

Torbjørn Engedal, CTO and Chair of the Board of Optilift, says that the agreement represents a major milestone for the company.

“This proves that our technology for autonomous offshore lifting operations is world leading. Together with our partners we are moving forward to make the technology market ready. We will also be able to explore new business possibilities together with PALFINGER, matching our technology with PALFINGER´s diverse product- and solution range”, says Engedal.

Management from Aker BP ASA, PALFINGER AG, PALFINGER Marine and Optilift gathered outside the headquarters of PALFINGERafter the signing of the contract on October 25th, 2023. Copyright: PALFINGER.

In the forefront

Andreas Klauser, CEO of PALFINGER AG (Copyright PALFINGER)

Andreas Klauser, CEO of PALFINGER, says the strategic partnership with Aker BP and Optilift will bring cutting edge technology to the offshore industry. One of the main drivers for remote controlled and autonomous cranes is their ability to transport cargo from supply vessels to offshore platforms completely without any human intervention, even in rough weather conditions, with minimal need of maintenance.

“By partnering with Aker BP and Optilift, both leaders in their respective industries, we are creating synergies that put us at the forefront when it comes to developing autonomous operation solutions”, says Clauser.

Vital role

Georg Vidnes, SVP Operation at Aker BP ASA (Copyright PALFINGER)

Georg Vidnes, SVP Operations at Aker BP, states that PALFINGER and Optilift are playing a vital role driving forward the development of Aker BP´s remotely operated cranes.

“Together we are changing the way equipment is transported to our offshore installations. The ability to remotely control cranes from shore is a first step, followed by innovations to load and offload equipment without manual intervention”, says Vidnes.

Innovative partners

Engedal praises both PALFINGER and Aker BP for their tenacity in driving forward new innovative technology to the lifting industry.

“With its commitment to innovation, Aker BP sets the gold standard in the business. They put pressure both on themselves and their suppliers to develop game-changing technology for the offshore industry. The company steps up when others want to sit back and wait for someone else to make the next move”.

Torbjørn Engedal, CTO and Chair of the Board at Optilift (Copyright PALFINGER)

Engedal is impressed by PALFINGER’s attitude and achievements. “PALFINGER has a unique ability to turn innovations into real products. The way I see it, PALFINGER manages not only to focus on customers’ needs, but also to ensure an optimal supply chain and smoothly running production. We are excited to explore collaboration with PALFINGER on more of their products”.

More information

  • PALFINGER press release: link.
  • Read about how Aker BP, PALFINGER and Optilift have collaborated over the last few years on this link.

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