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Wärtsilä Delivers Engines For Research Vessel

Posted on March 1, 2010

Wärtsilä has signed a contract with the STX Finland Oy shipyard in Rauma, Finland, to deliver four Wärtsilä 32 engines for a Polar Supply and Research Vessel. The owner of the vessel will be the Republic of South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs and it will be operated by SMIT Amandla Marine of South Africa. The vessel's crew will be trained at the Wärtsilä Land and Sea Academy in Turku, Finland.

The ice-strengthened vessel will be powered by four six-cylinder in-line Wärtsilä 32 engines. It will be approximately 134 m long and will have accommodations for 45 crew and about 100 researchers and passengers. Construction of the vessel began in January 2010 and will be launched in March 2012. Wärtsilä's engine deliveries are scheduled to take place in February 2011.

The vessel is being built for research activities and expeditions, but since it will be used to carry equipment and scientists working on the South African National Antarctic Program, it will also have ice-breaking capabilities. Expeditions will take place during the Antarctic summer, starting at the end of December and continuing until the beginning of March. During the remainder of the year, it will serve as a supply vessel for three research centers located on Antarctic islands.

Wärtsilä has worked closely with STX Finland Oy for many years, and has a good relationship with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. The new vessel will replace the Agulhas, the department's previous expedition vessel, built in 1982 and equipped with Wärtsilä controllable pitch propellers. The Department also owns a patrol vessel equipped with Wärtsilä main engines and propellers.

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