Germans get first LNG research ship

New Atair will replace current namesake New Atair will replace current namesake

The German Government has ordered a new €113.8 million survey, wreck location and research ship with dual fuel LNG drive and says it will be the world’s first ocean-going public service vessel of its kind, reports Tom Todd.

The 74m long and 16.8m wide ship, to be named Atair, will be Germany’s most modern research vessel and serve in the North Sea, Baltic and North Atlantic. It is being built at German yard Fassmer with support from the Hamburg maritime engineering office Technolog and will replace a 51.4m long, 11.4m wide smaller namesake, completed by Kroeger Werft in 1987 and one of three existing survey, wreck location and research ships.

The new Atair is for the German Transport Ministry and will go into service out of Hamburg in the first quarter of 2020 as the biggest ship in the fleet of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographical  Agency (BSH). As well as tackling the jobs of the old Atair it will take on additional outsourced hydrographical survey tasks.

Drawing 5m, it will be of 3,357dwt and have a dual fuel diesel-LNG propulsion system based on an unspecified Wärtsilä main engine of 3,100kW providing a trial speed of 13 knots. There are also two dual fuel generators and an emergency diesel generator using high-quality gas-oil as well as a 130m3 LNG tank for 10 days of independent LNG operation. The ship hopes to meet the stringent standards of Germany’s coveted Blauer Engel environmental, quality design award.

The Fassmer newbuilding will have a crew of 18 and room for 15 further people. It will boast two independent on-board tenders, laboratory facilities and a free deck space of 200m2 as well as space for five 20ft laboratory and transport containers and two 10ft containers on the stern deck. Technical gear will include as yet unspecified DP, integrated navigation systems and an extensive range of survey and sonar as well as diving equipment.

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