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VARD and Espen Oeino announce details of 182m Research Expedition Vessel

VARD, a commercial shipbuilder and part of the Fincantieri Group, has announced that it will design and construct an 181.6m Research Expedition Vessel (REV) in close collaboration with Espen Oeino for worldwide research and expedition activities.

Working together with the project’s Norwegian owner, Kjell Inge Røkke, and the World Wildlife Fund Norway, she will be used by researchers and marine experts to study and address the ocean’s environmental changes, as well as for private charter and exploration by her owner and his family.

Construction is planned to take place on the REV in several stages, beginning with the hull at VARD’s Tulcea facility in Romania. She will then be towed to the company’s shipyard in Brattvaag, Norway for outfitting before returning to Romania for fairing, deck-laying and finalisation of her accommodation areas. She will be handed over to her owner in Norway in 2020.

Røkke explained, “There may not be any economic rationale for the private construction of such a ship, but the case is compelling from the oceans’ point of view. I look forward to working with scientists, marine experts, environmentalists and positive, knowledgeable, solution-oriented people both in Norway and internationally.

“The ship will be offered as an arena for scientists and explorers from all over the world. The vessel will be built to the highest standard making it suitable for charter to private individuals, companies and institutions, which will generate research funding, and my family and I will also charter and use the ship as a place for recreation and inspiration."

The REV’s hull spans 22m across, and reaches 5m below the waterline and 40m above under light ship conditions, equating to a total gross tonnage of 16,000GT.

To allow her to achieve her research goals, she is powered by two 2,400eKw Caterpillar engines, pushing her to a top speed of 17 knots at half load and allowing her to cruise non-stop for 21,120nm, which is around 98% of the distance of our planet.

She is unsurprisingly fitted with a number of sustainable, eco-friendly energy solutions, including a slim hull line and efficient wave-cutting bulb to further reduce fuel consumption from her medium-speed engines. Below the waterline, she also has an energy-recovery rudder system and battery package with an exhaust cleaning system.

In research mode, the REV can carry up to 60 scientists and 40 crew members, while in luxury expedition mode she can host up to 36 guests supported by 54 crew members.

Espen Oeino said, “REV will probably be the most important ship I’ve ever worked on. It will also be the most special one – the vessel needs to meet the highest standards in so many areas at the same time. REV will operate under demanding climatic conditions, accommodate some of the most advanced research equipment and at the same time have a standard that is required for charter within this market. By combining knowledge, research and financial resources, my hope is that REV will make an important contribution to addressing and solving the challenges faced by the oceans.”

For more information, visit the REV’s dedicated website here.


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