Vard Secures Contract for Research Expedition Vessel

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Published May 2, 2017 2:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

Vard Holdings Limited (“VARD”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, is pleased to announce that it has secured a contract for the design and construction of one Research Expedition Vessel for Rosellinis Four-10.

Rosellinis Four-10 is wholly-owned by the Norwegian industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke and his family. Developed by Vard Design in collaboration with the customer and the designer Espen Øino, the Research Expedition Vessel (REV) is expected to enter service in 2020. The hull will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania, and towed to Vard Brattvaag in Norway for outfitting.  After delivery in Norway, the vessel will return to Romania for fairing, deck laying and finalization of the accommodation area.

The highly specialized vessel is tailor-made for worldwide research and expedition activities, with the objective of developing knowledge and sustainable solutions to address the ocean’s environmental challenges. WWF Norway is invited by the shipowner to take part in the further development of the research and expedition project.

Equipped with the latest technology on board, the vessel will be one of the most advanced research expedition vessels in the world. Equipment for monitoring and surveying marine areas, currents, the seabed, fish, animals and plant life in all of the world’s oceans will be available on the vessel.

Environmental performance has been crucial throughout the concept- and development phase. The VARD 6 16 design is developed for navigating waters in the most challenging and vulnerable environments, from arctic to tropical areas. To secure the most cost efficient, silent, comfortable and environmentally friendly expeditions in all weather conditions, the vessel is designed with slim hull lines in combination with wave-cutting bulb, slender foreship, large propellers and two pairs of stabilization fins. Other key features are the energy recovery rudder system, medium speed engines, a direct drive diesel-electric propulsion system with battery package, and an exhaust cleaning system.

The vessel will also employ VARD’S SeaQ Green Pilot, a data driven maritime energy management and operational performance system. By using real-time measurements, mathematical models and analysis of the vessel's performance, an expert system will give the operator advice on the ship’s performance and fuel consumption. This will empower the crew to minimize the carbon footprint of the vessel. SeaQ Green Pilot was developed by Vard Electro in Norway.

With its length of 182 meters, the vessel will be the longest one ever designed and built by VARD. The research and expedition area features modern laboratories, an auditorium, a hangar for a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) with direct access to the vessel’s moonpool, and a multifunctional cargo deck.

VARD’s subsidiary Seaonics has developed a large high-end scientific winch package for handling through moonpool and over side, a 20 tons fiber rope crane with reach down to 6,000 meters, and a pelagic trawl setup with catch selection for operations down to 3,000 meter depth. All operations including trawling will be inside operations either from the hangar amidships or from a horizontal built in A-frame construction at the stern.

The vessel will have a high standard to make it suitable for charter to private individuals, companies and institutions. The total accommodation capacity is for 90 persons, including a maximum of 36 guests on board.

Kjell Inge Røkke commented, “My very first large factory trawler was built by VARD 30 years ago, and I have enjoyed a great relationship with the team at VARD since then. I know what VARD stands for, and it is a pleasure to come back and build this Research Expedition Vessel together with them.”

Røkke continues: “The REV will be a platform for gathering knowledge. I would like to welcome researchers, environmental groups, and other institutions on board, to acquire new skills to evolve innovative solutions to address challenges and opportunities connected to the seas.”

CEO and Executive Director Mr. Roy Reite says, “We are excited and humbled to be chosen as the partner to develop and build this unique vessel. It is a pleasure to work with Kjell Inge Røkke and his team again. Our relations span several decades, and we welcome his private initiative and engagement for research and expedition activities at sea. VARD’s experience from R&D and the design and construction of highly specialized vessels such as research, surveillance and expedition vessels will be valuable in this project. This newbuilding also offers an excellent opportunity to showcase the innovation power of the Norwegian maritime industry by involving many local suppliers.”

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