Belgica Makes a Splash

Oceanographic research vessel Belgica has been officially launched at Freire shipyard in Vigo.

Belgica is the result of collaboration between the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the Ministry of Defence and the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO).

Freire shipyard was awarded the international tender for the building of this new oceanographic research vessel in 2018 with the objective to provide support to the marine research community for the coming 30 years.

The contract came into force in June 2018 and the delivery is scheduled by the end of 2020.

The vessel is meant to replace the current RV Belgica after more than 36 years of service. This new vessel not only offers more space for scientists and for research but is also being built with the highest standards of energy consumption and noise emission in line with her green ship status, Freire shipyard explains.

The Belgica will be a multidisciplinary research vessel fitted with equipment to operate in a variety of fields such as geology and sedimentology, fisheries, biology, chemistry, oceanography and hydrography; built with IMO polar code her mission will be to carry out research and survey tasks in the North Sea as well as in the Mediterranean and more northern area.

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