A 156m-long Antarctic supply research vessel (ASRV) currently under construction in Romania, will be built using steel supplied by ArcelorMittal Galati. The world’s largest steelmaker supplied heavy plates in grades ranging from AH36 to EH36 – strong marine steels (up to 620Mpa) with a low carbon content. Delivery is scheduled for April 2020.
The ship is designed to carry out research and supply functions in Antarctic waters and will be designed for breaking up to 1.65m-thick ice at speeds of 3 knots. It will supply Australia’s permanent research stations in the area with cargo, equipment and personnel. There will be science laboratories and offices spread across an area of 500m² on board.
One of the main challenges successfully met, was to deliver the plates to the shipbuilder – Damen Shipyards in Galati – in the required dimensions: a third of them was to be thin and wide, in 6-8mm thickness and 3,000mm width. The thinner plates are used for the deck of the vessel, while the thicker ones form the hull. The extra wide plates significantly reduce the number of welds required, says ArcelorMittal.
ArcelorMittal Galati’s proximity to Damen’s shipyard minimised the chance of transport delays and allowed the steelmaker’s experts to provide a swift answer to any technical questions from the shipbuilder.
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products and Damen Shipyards Group have a longstanding working relationship. The company has supplied steel and collaborated with Damen on its new class of service operation vessels (SOVs).
To formally recognise the start of the construction, the official keel laying ceremony took place at the shipyard in Galati. Several coins were placed under the keel in accordance with tradition, including a Dutch silver coin dated 1642, the year that Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to reach Tasmania. Tasmania is not only where the offices of the Australian Antarctic Division are located, but the island's capital, Hobart, will serve as the vessel's home port.