Australia’s new icebreaker was floated at a shipyard in Romania this week, taking two days to fill the dry dock where the RSV Nuyina is being built.
CAPTION: The partially completed RSV Nuyina, Australia’s replacement icebreaker, is floated at the Damen Shipyards in Galati, Romania. Serco photo.
Under the close supervision of marine engineers, the vessel was successfully floated and transferred to an adjacent wet dock.
Final construction of the Nuyina will be completed in the wet dock before the vessel is transferred to its home port of Hobart, Tasmania in 2020.
When complete, RSV Nuyina will weigh 16,000 tonne [though the Serco web site says 24,000] and be more than one-and-a-half times longer and three-times heavier than the current icebreaker, Aurora Australis.
Her size will enable the vessel to conduct longer and more extensive voyages to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
Serco Australia CEO Mark Irwin said the floating of the vessel was an important milestone in the project, and a result of significant work by Serco and shipbuilder Damen, with their client, the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).
“The commissioning of any vessel is significant, but seeing the RSV Nuyina on the water is particularly exciting for Serco and the project team,” he said.
“This is a state-of-the-art ship and will be Australia’s only icebreaking scientific research platform.
“Through our role in the design and build of the vessel, we have worked with scientists and specialists in the Australian Antarctic Division to consider what the future for scientific research in the Southern Ocean will look like, and how this vessel can best meet the research and operational needs required over its 30-year lifetime.
“The result is a vessel that offers unrivalled scientific, logistics and icebreaking capabilities.
“Nuyina will usher in a new era of Australian Antarctic leadership and scientific endeavour.”
The Serco web site says the 160-metre long, 24,000-tonne vessel is expected to accommodate 34 Serco crew and up to 116 Australian Antarctic Division scientific personnel, and has the ability to embark up to four helicopters, two landing craft and a dedicated science tender.
Recruitment for crew positions has commenced. Expressions of interest for crew and local-industry support services are open – details here.