Marking the start of construction of the Damen Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV), a steel cutting ceremony has been held at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania.
Damen is constructing the ASRV for Serco Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco Australia who, in turn, signed a contract with the Australian Government last year for the delivery, operation and maintenance of the vessel.
“Cutting the first steel for any vessel is always significant. However, the fact that the ASRV is such a ground-breaker makes this a very exciting moment,” says Damen project director, Joop Noordijk. “The whole team are looking forward to building what is actually an icebreaker, survey vessel and resupply vessel all rolled into one.”
The 160-metre ASRV will perform numerous tasks for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). “The new vessel is a multi-mission ship designed to sustain our geographically dispersed stations, support helicopter operations, sustain shore parties on remote islands, map the seafloor and undertake a variety of scientific activities across the Southern Ocean,” says AAD modernisation program manager Rob Bryson.
Serco Australia CEO, Mark Irwin, said: “Serco has again been able to provide the skills and support required to enable the continued development of this exciting and unique vessel delivery project, and will continue to work closely with our customer, the AAD, and our design and build partner, Damen, to progress to final delivery in 2020. Congratulations to the project team for meeting this significant milestone and as we now start to turn our attentions to the build stage we should look forward to further successes in the very near future.”
Construction and outfitting of the vessel will be carried out at Damen Shipyards Galati, with engineering and project management being provided by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in the Netherlands.