While it has served its purpose well, one of the two vessels operated by Iceland’s Marine Research Institute is set to be replaced now that it has more than fifty years of operation behind it.
The 54 metre research vessel Bjarni Sæmundsson was built in Germany for the Icelandic government and was delivered in December 1970.
The Central Public Procurement authority has opened initial expressions of interest in building a new research vessel for the Marine Research Institute, with eight shipyards expressing interest.
The formal tendering process is expected to begin on 1st June and the process of assessing offers will take some months.
The expectation is that a contract for the construction will be awarded before 1st November this year and a two-year construction period is envisaged, with delivered expected in late 2023.
A number of requirements and proposals have been presented as part of the development process, including measures to minimise environmental effects.
The capacity to operate on biodiesel (such as derived from oilseed rape) is mentioned, as well as options for being able to install systems potentially able to use methanol as fuel.
There is a requirement for energy saving systems throughout, including LED lighting, electric winches, the use of excess energy from the main engine for heating, and for accommodation to be arranged so that only areas in use need to be air conditioned.
A shore power connection is a requirement, and the expectation is that the new ship’s home port will be fitted with a heat exchange system allowing it to be heated using geothermal hot water when in port.