The Brazilian Government has announced that it will spend R$162m ($81m) to purchase an advanced oceanography research vessel.
Brazil’s Science and Technology Ministry said the ship, due to start operations in 2013, will be "among the world’s five best research platforms", according to Spanish news agency EFE.
The acquisition is being made possible by potential contributions from the Brazilian navy, the Science and Technology Ministry, energy corporation Petrobras and mining firm Vale.
The purchase is intended to increase Brazil’s capacity for marine studies, as well as contribute to training and improve knowledge of the country’s territorial waters.
The ministry revealed that the vessel’s priority will be to "create an inventory of mineral resources and carry out bioprospecting in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction".
The new vessel will join the four existing oceanographic and polar research vessels in the Brazilian fleet, three of which are used by the navy while the fourth is used by the University of Sao Paulo.