The Namibian government has ordered a fishers research vessel from Finnish shipbuilder STX Finland Oy, for delivery next year. The contract between the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and STX Finland was signed on February 11 and is valued at approximately 35 million euros.
The specialised vessel will be roughly 62 metres long and will have accommodation for 45 crew and research personnel. It will be built at STX Finland’s Rauma shipyard, where it will bring some 250 man-years worth of labour.
“This order is very important for STX Rauma shipyard,” says Timo Suistio, Director of STX Rauma shipyard. “The contract now signed shows that the shipyard has succeeded very well in its long-term research and development efforts focused on specialized vessels.”
“The R&D will continue with the construction of the research vessel now ordered by Namibia. In the design we can apply the same technologies as in the icebreaker for research purposes ordered by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, to be delivered in 2012, since the two vessels, to a certain extent, carry out similar tasks and use the same kind of equipment,” he added. “In the case of the fisheries research vessel, the areas for further development include enhanced hydroacoustic characteristics and hull protection techniques,” Suistio says.
Designed specifically for Namibian fisheries research, the new vessel meets the latest standards set for this type of vessel, STX Finland says. It has been designed with low maintenance requirements in mind and will be able to operate in any African sea and weather conditions in all seasons with no restrictions.
It will be used for the monitoring of fish stock, as well as sorting, processing, freezing and storing fish. The multi-purpose vessel will also be used for collecting biological samples for seabed research and analysis and will provide assistance for the control of fishing. The vessel also features facilities for meteorological research.
Furthermore, the ship features a dynamic positioning system, which is a computer controlled system that automatically maintain a ship’s position and heading by using propellers and thrusters. This is particularly useful when anchoring or mooring is not feasible or when the vessel needs to maintain a course relative to something else, such as another ship.
STX Finland noted that the support of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Embassy in Windhoek were of crucial importance in the promotion of this project and in realizing the ship contract.