Malaysia state energy firm Petronas’ technology commercialization arm, Petronas Technology Ventures (PTVSB) has entered into a strategic collaboration with Aerodyne Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of drone tech firm Aerodyne Group, to explore opportunities for deployment and commercialization of drone-based solutions.

The collaboration is set to elevate the adoption of drone-based technology in the energy industry and beyond to drive operational optimization while reducing carbon footprint and improving worksite safety, Petronas said in a statement on Monday. It is also part of Petronas’ efforts to enable remote and autonomous operations through the expansion of robotics and digitalization, Petronas added.

A Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) was signed on Apr 21 between the two parties.

“Petronas believes the partnership with Aerodyne is testimony to the shared vision of both organizations to propel Malaysia to the forefront of drone technology solutions in the world,” Petronas President and Group Chief Executive Officer Tengku Muhammad Taufik said in his speech. “With Petronas’ in-house technologies and Aerodyne’s expertise, we look forward to the exciting potential drone-based technology will bring to the energy industry as well as other sectors, particularly in improving safety and reducing carbon footprint at worksites.”

According to Petronas, the importance of drone-based technology is “exemplified by the establishment of the Petronas Drone Center to facilitate deployment”. Petronas has successfully demonstrated inter-platform delivery for payloads of 5kg within a 5km distance, the company added.

Through this collaboration, both parties will also jointly explore technical and economic viability of drone solutions with higher payloads and longer distance to increase logistics efficiency and speed, Petronas said.

In addition to a joint deep dive into innovative drone-based solutions for technology deployment and commercialization, both companies will also look into technology enhancement, human capital development, the establishment of related regulations and standards, as well as push to liberalize the usage of drone services in Malaysian industries.

“Pooling our expertise and resources to develop unique and creative solutions for today’s challenges in the O&G sector is an exciting approach and will enable both parties to tap into opportunities in Malaysia and beyond,” Aerodyne Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Kamarul A. Muhamed added.

Aerodyne is ranked number one in the remote-sensing drone service provider rankings in 2021, according to drone market research firm Drone Industry Insights.

In an interview with TechNode Global last December, Kamarul said the firm has started its initial public offering (IPO) process and is exploring a dual-listing to also float its shares on the Malaysian stock exchange besides listing the company overseas.

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