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INCORPORATING

BOURBON OPTS FOR FLEET XPRESS IN OFFSHORE DIGITALISATION PLAN

Monday, November 11, 2019 

Offshore operator Bourbon has signed a contract committing more than 100 offshore support vessels (OSVs) to Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress, the maritime broadband service that combines the speed of Ka-band with continuous back up from Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband operating on L-band.

Inmarsat says that the deal represents a breakthrough offshore contract for Fleet Xpress, which is already installed on some 7,000 vessels - mainly seagoing merchant ships.

“This contract is substantial in its own right and underlines that Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress solution offers the same compelling business case on vessel efficiency and crew welfare for the energy sector as it does in the merchant shipping arena,” said Eric Griffin, VP Offshore Energy, Inmarsat Maritime. “Commercial shipping is using Fleet Xpress as its pathway to maritime digitalisation; now, the value of joining that journey is being acknowledged by one of the leading marine offshore Service Providers in the world.”

Bourbon’s response to prolonged lower oil prices has emerged as the action plan ‘#Bourboninmotion’, which is structured around a new vessel operational model, onshore support and a remote support centre, which seeks to reduce fleet operating costs. Set for completion by 2021, the programme envisages deployment on 133 ‘smart’ vessels.

Bourbon Corporation CEO Gaël Bodénès said: “The time has come for operational intelligence: connected vessels, use of predictive maintenance, shore-based control centres, rationalization of tasks, etc. Automation of onboard systems is already a reality for our seafarers and we must all innovate at speed to invent our business model and our professions of tomorrow.”

Griffin stressed that flexibility had been an essential ingredient in securing the Bourbon deal. “The service provider could raise or lower bandwidth usage as necessary, or even suspend it on a planned basis without penalty.”

All vessels covered in the agreement will feature advanced 3-axis stabilised antennas from Cobham, specifically developed for and approved by Inmarsat for the Global Xpress satellite network.

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