14 September 2021
The new ASRV (Antarctic Supply Research Vessel) Nuyina, built by Damen Shipyards, has sailed from Damen Vlissingen to begin her seven-week voyage to Hobart, Tasmania, where she will begin her duties. Officially handed over to the Government of Australia, the 160-metre vessel displacing 24,000 tonnes is now the most advanced polar research vessel in the world. The ship was a key deliverable from the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan; her mission includes the resupply of Antarctic stations and research campaigns, scientific research, icebreaking, transport, disaster relief, evacuation, and patrol duties.
The design and build of the vessel has been a multi-national effort involving the Australian Antarctic Division, the vessel operator Serco, Danish concept designers Knud E. Hansen, Damen’s engineering and detailed design teams in the Netherlands and the construction team at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. They in turn were supported by the world-beating capabilities of the Dutch maritime sector. Around 120 Dutch companies throughout the supply chain were involved in the project under Damen’s leadership.
“The Netherlands’ self-sufficient naval supply chain is one of the best in the world, underpinned by the activities and innovative outlook of the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN),” says Roland Briene, Commercial Director at Damen Naval. “Defence as a key launching customer plays a vital role in creating and sustaining the top-quality, self-sufficient, naval shipbuilding industry that we have today, and Damen is proud to have been the lead contractor for many of the projects. It is their support that enables us to design, engineer and build what is one of the most complex vessels we have ever constructed, on time (with allowances for COVID) and within budget.”
A range of Australian companies also played important roles in the construction of the ASRV Nuyina, such as Taylor Bros of Tasmania which supplied two, high powered, Antarctic landing barges. Germany has been a crucial supplier to the Nuyina, with more than ten German companies providing specialized equipment and services. Among these, MAN has provided the main engines, RENK the reduction gear, and Thales Deutschland the helicopter ADS-B system. Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) has contributed expertise with regard to some of the vessel’s high-quality design features.
“It’s a monumental occasion,” added Gerry O’Doherty, Master of ASRV Nuyina. “It’s been custom designed and built for the Australian Antarctic Program and it’s really special. It’s day one of a thirty or possibly forty year lifespan! We're going to be able to do so much with it, and I just want to wish all those scientists and crew who will be working on it all the best for the future. Everyone involved in this project can take great pride in their contribution to the development of a vessel that has set a new world benchmark in polar science capability.”
Along with the many innovative systems that the ASRV Nuyina has to ensure that its environmental impact is as close to zero as is currently possible, it also has climate-controlled spaces in which up to 32 crew, 116 special personnel and one doctor will live for extended periods of up to 90 days. These include single and twin cabins all ensuite, a galley, a dining area, lounges, a theatre, a fitness centre, and yoga and medical suites. Its research facilities include 500m² of science laboratories and offices, wet well and ultra-pure seawater systems, and meteorological and air chemistry labs. She also has a range of 16,000 nm at 12 knots, and an ice-breaking capability of 1.65m at 3 knots.