Damen Shipyards Group has secured a contract from Serco to build a new Antarctic supply research vessel (ASRV) with icebreaking capabilities for the Government of Australia.
Serco’s subsidiary, DMS Maritime, was selected by the government for the delivery, operation and maintenance of the ASRV, an important part of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) programme.
AAD’s programme is aimed at enhancing Australia’s scientific, strategic, environmental and economic interests in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, focusing on stewardship, climate research and the study of both terrestrial and marine eco-systems.
Serco Asia Pacific CEO Mark Irwin said: "Damen is a leading international shipyards group with a strong international presence.
"As well as building a broad portfolio of standardised vessels in series, Damen has produced a range of bespoke vessels including scientific, hydrographic, and naval and ice ships.
"Damen and Serco have a strong partnership and over the last ten years, Damen has supplied over 40 vessels used by Serco to support naval operations in the UK and Australia."
The construction of the vessel will engage a series of companies within the Damen Shipyards Group and Damen’s wider network, including Denmark-based Knud Hansen, who executed the concept and tender designs; with the Netherlands-based Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) delivering engineering and project management.
Romania’s Damen Shipyards will conduct the construction and outfitting of the vessel.
The 156m long ship, with a beam of 25.6m, will be deployed for Australia’s wider exploration of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, and will be engaged to ferry cargo, equipment and personnel to Australia’s permanent research stations in Antarctica and Macquarie Island.
The vessel will have the capacity to break through ice up to 1.65m at a speed of 3k.
The ice-breaker will feature a 500m² on-board laboratory and office facilities, and can accommodate up to 32 DMS Maritime crew, as well as 116 AAD scientific personnel and a doctor, in climate controlled accommodation.
Upon completion at Damen’s shipyard, the vessel is scheduled to sail to DSNS in the Netherlands, to be delivered to the client in 2020.
Image: ASRV to be built by Damen. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.