New icebreaker of Australia to undergo final commissioning
Australia's almost completed icebreaker, designed at the Damen Galati shipyard in Romania, is heading to the Netherlands to undergo final commissioning and sea trials that had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nuyina is currently under a month-long tow from Romania to the Dutch port of Vlissingen, where teams of equipment installers from Western Europe will have access to the latest Research and Supply Vessel (RSV) for final commissioning of critical propulsion, electrical and navigation systems after work has been suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, said the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).
RSV Nuyina has not undergone sea trials and therefore does not have the required regulatory certificates to conduct international travel under its own jurisdiction, AAD said. The vessel was towed 6,800 kilometers across the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar to reach the Netherlands by the end of August.
The vessel was designed by Knud E Hansen and is being built to replace the now-retired Aurora Australis icebreaker, offering scientists extended access to the Southern Ocean and Antarctic. The construction of RSV Nuyina began in May 2017 and the vessel was launched in September 2018 before it was scheduled to arrive at its home port in Hobart in 2020.
Nuyina was expected to make her first trip to Antarctica for the summer season 2020-2021, but her delayed arrival means that an alternative ship will be used next summer season.
In March, the AAD reached an agreement with the Dutch company Maritime Construction Services to use the multipurpose ice-class vessel Everest from December 2020 to March 2021.
Maritime Business World