Keel laid for Antarctic research vessel

31 Jan 2011
Artist impression of the Antarctic research and supply vessel ordered by South Africa

Artist impression of the Antarctic research and supply vessel ordered by South Africa

The keel was recently laid for the Antarctic research and supply vessel ordered by the South African department of environmental affairs at STX Finland’s Rauma shipyard.

The newbuilding is a multipurpose vessel that will operate among other things as a supply, research and passenger ship as well as an icebreaker. The ice-strengthened vessel will be approximately 134m long and will accommodate a crew of 45 and some 100 researchers or passengers.

The main purpose of the vessel, to be handed over to the client in spring 2012, will be to act as a logistics support vessel for South African research stations on the Antarctica and Marion and Gough islands. In addition to the carrying out oceanographic research and geological seabed surveys, the ship will be capable of continuously monitoring various meteorological variables for South African weather services. She will also operate internationally as a passenger ship for some 150 people. 

“The design and construction process at the STX Rauma shipyard has advanced exactly as planned, and the co-operation between the shipyard, client, classification agency, flag authority, and every material and equipment supplier has gone exceptionally well,” commended Timo Suistio, director of STX Rauma shipyard. “The project will provide STX Rauma shipyard personnel and the partners involved valuable experience and expertise in designing and building demanding special vessels, which will be an advantage when competing for future vessel orders,” Suistio said.

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