Ocean Power Technologies has announced that it has signed an agreement with Eni S.p.A. (“Eni”), one of the world’s largest multinational oil and gas companies, to supply a PB3 PowerBuoy™ for a demonstration of one of Eni’s subsea oil and gas operations. The agreement provides for a minimum 24-month contract that includes an 18-month PB3 PowerBuoy™ lease and associated project management. OPT will also provide deployment support, remote data collection and monitoring. The project is expected to commence in March 2018.
The OPT PowerBuoy™ will be deployed in the Adriatic Sea to advance Eni’s Clean Sea technology for marine environmental monitoring and offshore asset inspection using autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The PowerBuoy™ will be used to demonstrate subsea battery charging, and eventually may be used to provide a stand-alone charging station and communications platform that would enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs.
George H. Kirby, President and Chief Executive Officer of OPT, said, “This commercial agreement with Eni is our first in the oil and gas market and is a significant milestone for our Company. The technology being developed could allow Eni to use clean energy to demonstrate the power and communications capabilities of a combined PB3-subsea battery charging system in a harsh offshore environment, for AUV and other applications. We are excited about this new relationship and look forward to helping Eni further advance its operations.”
Kirby added, “We believe the Eni deployment could lead to other applications including the charging of underwater unmanned vehicles, well monitoring and decommissioning applications in the oil and gas industry, as well as metocean data collection. We hope to leverage this work to further expand the use of our PB3 PowerBuoy™ throughout our target markets including oil and gas, security, defense and telecommunications,” added Kirby.
At the end of the initial 18-month lease and upon successfully achieving pre-defined technical metrics, Eni will have the option to either extend the lease for an additional 18 months or purchase the PB3 PowerBuoy™.