Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam has completed the rebuild of a former offshore survey ship into an advanced exploration and research vessel, OceanXplorer. The new ship, owned by OceanX, is equipped with a series of submersibles, sonar arrays, manned submarines, an ROV and an AUV.
The wide-ranging project was managed by Damen, as main contractor, and required various of the shipyard group’s disciplines including offshore and survey newbuild, repair and conversion and yachting specialisms. The vessel was rebuilt from the main deck upwards with a much larger accommodation module housing laboratories, workshops and a submarine hangar. A fully integrated helicopter hangar was also added, as well as extensions on both sides of the accommodation to provide more cabin space.
The ship’s systems were upgraded and integrated to include specialist hydrographic equipment, laboratories and research facilities, IT infrastructure, and cinematography and media studios. Damen also undertook a docking scope, including removal and refurbishment of azipull and bow thrusters, blasting and coating of tanks, and a complete overhaul and upgrading of crew accommodation spaces.
The vessel will join the ocean exploration company’s first ship, Alucia, and will collect live samples from the ocean for analysis and DNA sampling by scientists.