Construction of new Wadden Sea research vessel gets green light

Photo: C-Job

The Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (Nederlandse Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Instituten; NWO-I) has approved the investment by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Nederlands Instituut voor Zeeonderzoek; NIOZ) for the construction of a new vessel for the Dutch national research fleet.

Next Generation Shipyards in Lauwersoog has won the tender to build a replacement for the aging Wadden Sea research and support vessel Stern. The replacement vessel, which will be named Adriaen Coenen after a famed 16th century fishmonger and ichthyologist, is expected to be delivered in the spring of 2022.

Designed by local naval architects C-Job, the vessel will be optimised for day trips for the fast and flexible collection of research samples, which can then be further processed at the nearby NIOZ facilities.

Adriaen Coenen will be equipped with facilities for 12 scientists, assistants, students, and other passengers plus two crewmembers. With a maximum draught of one metre, the vessel can cross watersheds in the Wadden Sea at high tide and ground during low tide.

The new vessel will tow or push small objects including a mobile platform for bird observation. For research activities, the vessel will be equipped with hoisting equipment, a spacious working deck with room for two rubber dinghies or a three-metre container, arrangements for deployment of ADCP and multi-beam equipment, wet and dry laboratories, ICT infrastructure and communication equipment.

The engine will be powered by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) instead of diesel to ensure a significant reduction in emissions, such as 90 per cent less CO2. The NIOZ said that in combination with particulate filters and a catalytic converter on the exhausts, this is at least equivalent to the emission reduction achieved with methanol.

Adriaen Coenen will also have a heat recovery system, motion-activated and solar-powered LED lighting, thermal insulation, batteries, and shore charging capability.

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