Dutch shipbuilder Damen has contracted Taylor Bros of Tasmania to build two Antarctic landing barges for the RSV Nuyina, Australia’s new icebreaker currently under construction in Galati, Romania.
RSV Nuyina was laid down in August this year and is set to be delivered by 2020.
The vessel will be operated by DMS Maritime, a Serco subsidiary, and will be part of the Australian Antarctic Division’s research program in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
The barges, which are being designed, engineered and built locally, will carry 45.5 tonne trucks from ship to shore on a continuous basis. The construction process of the barges will complete in 2020, when the RSV Nuyina begins her operations, replacing the current vessel, the Aurora Australis.
“This contract with Taylor Bros demonstrates Damen’s strong conviction in the maxim ‘think global, act local’,” Roland Briene, Damen Area Director Asia Pacific, said of the barge contract award. “Taylor Bros was a natural choice for this contract, having delivered a number of projects to the AAD previously. Tasmania in general has an excellent reputation for being one of the most effective manufacturing, supply and support bases for Antarctic research.”
RSV Nuyina itself will be 156 meters in length, with a beam of 25.6 meters. She will be able to break ice up to 1.65 meters at speeds of 3 knots and will supply Australia’s research stations in Antarctica and Macquarie Island with cargo, equipment and personnel.
With a 500m2 laboratory and office facilities, the vessel will also serve to conduct research activities. The RSV Nuyina will host up to 32 DMS Maritime crew and as many as 116 AAD scientific personnel, plus a doctor, in climate controlled accommodation.