LETHBRIDGE, Alta.—Robix Alternative Fuels Inc. has signed a deal with a British Columbia-based metal fabricator to manufacture its clean ocean vessel (COV), an containment and recovery device used for marine oil spills.
Robix said it signed an exclusive agreement with Rayco Steel Ltd. that will see the Sparwood, B.C.-based company build the catamaran-hull barge COVs, which use rotating drums to lift and separate oil from water.
“Rayco’s work to date on our first commercial COV has been excellent and that quality workmanship has given me confidence in selecting them as our exclusive COV manufacturer,” Robix president and CEO Nathan Hansen said in a statement. “They have managed the construction, worked to a tight budget and been instrumental in working with marine engineers and architect group as well as Transport Canada to facilitate design improvements to the COV which will make this iteration, a product that meets 21st century specifications.”
As part of the deal, Rayco will also have the exclusive rights to manufacture subsequent COVs designs, including non-marine applications including waste-water streams and oilsands production.
Robix said it has been examining the use of the COV design in tailings ponds in the oilsands, where management believes it could be used in to contain and recover oil.
“In tandem to building the first commercial COV, we’ve been working with Rayco on testing the principles of the COV design on non-marine applications,” Hansen said.
“The COV is a very versatile design which can be applied to a number of applications. I look forward to exploring this avenue further, but our first priority is to get the COV into the water to test its performance in open seas and prove sea worthiness.”
Hansen said the company hopes to be selling COVs in the first half of 2015.