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Damen Galati floats out Australia’s new icebreaker

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Water level in shipyard's dry dock was raised by 6 meters in a painstaking two-day process

SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 — Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania, has floated out Australia’s new icebreaker, the 160 m long Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) RSV Nuyina.

The carefully executed procedure was achieved by raising the water level in the yard’s dry dock by six meters; a process taking two days to complete. Once afloat, the vessel was maneuvered 250 metres to a quayside berth where the ongoing construction and outfitting process will take place.

Damen is building the ASRV for Serco subsidiary DMS Maritime on behalf of the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy.

Being built to a design by Denmark’s Knud E. Hansen, the vessel will have a multi-mission role. It will keep Australia’s three permanent research stations on the Antarctic continent and its research station on Macquarie Island supplied with cargo, equipment and personnel. Additionally, it will serve as a fully equipped research laboratory facility for up to 116 scientific staff.

RSV Nuyina will be able to break 1.65 m thick ice at a continuous speed of 3 knots

The vessel has a hybrid propulsion system to provide both the high power needed for icebreaking and silent running for science operations.

Sensitive acoustic instruments are mounted on dual drop keels and multi-beam bathymetric sonars will enable sea floor mapping. Flexible and modular science laboratories will provide scientists the diverse facilities needed for conducting cutting edge research.

The construction process is calling on input from two different Damen shipyards: Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands is providing engineering and project management services, while Damen Shipyards Galati is carrying out vessel construction and outfitting tasks.

Construction of the vessel began in August 2017 with a ceremonial keel-laying ceremony. Building from the keel up, the build process has reached the fourth deck level in that time. Now that the vessel is afloat, construction will continue with the positioning of pre-fabricated superstructure blocks, bringing the finished vessel to its full 10-deck height of just over 50 meters.

“This project is benefiting from the great collaborative relationship between these two sister companies – one that has been built up during the building of seven previous vessels for the Royal Netherlands Navy,” says Damen Project Director Joop Noordijk.

“This is a great achievement for all involved,” says Rino Brugge, Managing Director Damen Shipyards Galati. “We still have a long way to go until final delivery, but this float-out once again highlights the extraordinary capability we have for building extremely complex high-end vessels for the broadest range of maritime clients – including commercial operators as well as government and naval contracts.”

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