South African Polar vessel is launched

21 Jul 2011
Polar research vessel S.A. Agulhas II has now been named in Finland by its South African operator

Polar research vessel 'S.A. Agulhas II' has now been named in Finland by its South African operator

The Polar supply and research vessel ordered by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs has been named S.A. Agulhas II and launched at STX Finland’s Rauma shipyard.

The ice-strengthened vessel is about 134m length oa, and it will have accommodation for a crew of 45 and some 100 researchers or passengers. It will operate, among other duties, as a supply, research and passenger ship as well as an icebreaker. Its core functions will be logistic support for South African research bases on the Antarctic mainland, Marion Island and Gough Island. The vessel will be equipped to conduct oceanographic studies and marine geological research. Other tasks include continuous measurement of a range of meteorological parameters for transmission to the South African weather services, and deployment of weather balloons and weather buoys during certain transits.

 “The construction of the vessel continues as planned. The ship will be handed over to the client as agreed in the spring of 2012”, explains Timo Suistio, EVP & COO of STX Finland and director of STX Rauma shipyard. “In addition to this multipurpose arctic research vessel Rauma shipyard has a car-passenger vessel Spirit of France, a fisheries research vessel and a double ended ferry under construction,” Suistio continues.

The ship, NB 1369, was named at Rauma by Mrs Noshipho Ngcaba ,director general of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. The event was attended by representatives and guests of the client; the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and STX Finland, South African Maritime Safety Authority, the classification society Det Norske Veritas and media representatives.

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