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Norway to build modern icebreaker for oil, gas exploration in Arctic by 2016

January 20, 2014, 15:18 UTC+3 OSLO
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OSLO, January 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kronprins Haakon modern icebreaker for exploration of resources in the Arctic will be ready by 2016, Norway’s Minister of Fishery Elisabeth Aspaker said at the opening of the Arctic Borders international conference in Tromso, Norway.

“For Norway it will be its ever biggest investment in a sea research project,” the minister said. “The new icebreaker will be used both for monitoring of the ecology situation in the Arctic and for further exploration of the hydrocarbon resources at high latitudes.”

The minister continued saying Norway had an agreement on construction of a 100-meter vessel, capable of a six-months’ autonomous navigation in ice, with Italy’s biggest shipbuilder - Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. The contract’s price is 1.4 billion krones /227 million dollars/. The icebreaker’s design was made by the UK’s Rolls-Royce Marine. Norway’s Institute for marine research in Bergen is responsible for the implementation of the project.

As the building is over in Genoa’s shipyard, the vessel will go to Norway’s Polar Institute, and the fist Arctic campaign is due in 2017 already.

The Kronprins Haakon, named in honor of the heir of Norway’s throne, will be a most high-technology icebreaker in the world. The project meets modern ecology standards to minimize negative effects on the environment. The jury chose the name “Kronprins Haakon” because it is a name with long royal Polar traditions, at the same time reflecting the crown prince’s big engagement and deep knowledge on climate and environment in Polar regions, the Polar Institute says.

The new research vessel will have ice-class Polar 10 Icebreaker. It will have cabin-space for a crew of at least 50 and be fitted for research voyages of up to six weeks in ice-covered waters. The vessel will be 100 meters long and 21 meters wide.

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