FEATURE | Faroe Islands enters research vessel newbuilding sector with high-specification multi-role ship

RESEARCH & TRAINING WEEK
Photo: Bureau Veritas

The Faroe Marine Research Institute (FAMRI) has taken delivery of a new vessel from local builder MEST. The vessel has been named Jakup Sverri after Jakup Sverri Joensen, former FAMRI director and the Faroe Islands’ first marine biologist.

The Bureau Veritas-classed vessel is equipped to carry out oceanographic and fisheries research, particularly in offshore and shelf areas within the Faroe Islands’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ). For this purpose, it is equipped with two dry and two wet laboratories.

Safeguarding the local economy

The vessel’s main role is to gather scientific data on local fisheries to provide the Faroese government with accurate information about the size, composition, and location of fish stocks in the surrounding waters. Since the islands’ economy is highly dependent on the fishing industry, the vessel needed to be capable of conducting data-collecting and research activities in a timely manner and with only minimal adverse impact on the area’s marine environment.

The newbuild has an LOA of 54 metres, a moulded beam of 13.6 metres, and a maximum draught of 6.4 metres. The hull was built at Western Baltija Shipbuilding in Lithuania and later transferred to MEST’s facilities for completion. Upon completion, the vessel had seven decks and accommodation spaces including single cabins for the 13 crew, six double cabins for up to 12 embarked scientists, a medical bay with two berths, a conference room, and a fitness area.

Photo: MEST

The vessel is equipped with pelagic and bottom trawls and winches, underwater acoustic sensors such as a multi-beam sub-bottom profiler and a fish finding sonar, an array of plankton and bottom sampling tools, hydrographic and seismic sensors, and provisions for the launching and recovery of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). To support its wide-ranging operational profile, the vessel is outfitted for operation in cold climates in compliance to IMO Polar Code category C requirements and is equipped with a dynamic positioning system.

The vessel boasts fish sorting equipment as well as a equipment for weighing, measurement, and automatic registration of catch, thereby reducing the workload of the embarked researchers. Freezer holds have also been installed for storing catch.

Silent engines for effective surveys

Jakup Sverri relies on diesel-electric propulsion wherein a pair of elastically mounted diesel generators supply electrical power to a five-bladed, 3,600-millimetre fixed-pitch propeller. The propulsion arrangement selected for the vessel has been configured to emit significantly reduced underwater radiated noise in accordance with DNV’s SILENT-R notation. The generators are also fitted with selective catalytic reduction to satisfy IMO Tier III NOx emissions requirements.

Thanks to the “silent running” configuration of the generators and the propeller, the vessel will not produce any underwater cavitation for as long as its speed does not exceed 11 knots. This ensures that any data gathered by the onboard sensors will be significantly more accurate than what could only be achieved in the presence of impediments such as underwater noise and vibrations. The quietness is not the only benefit offered by the propulsion arrangement; it can also deliver a bollard pull of up to 27 tonnes at five knots.

A separate Scania 379kVa generator set will be used to supply electrical power while the vessel is in harbour. It may also serve as an emergency power source should both main diesel generators become inoperative while underway.

Built for purpose

Although Jakup Sverri is the fourth vessel to join the FAMRI fleet, it is the institute’s first vessel to be built specifically for conducting research missions. It entered service in late 2020, replacing Magnus Heinason, which FAMRI had used for fisheries research missions beginning in 1982.

Photo: MEST

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