A dedicated ice-classed research vessel was listed as top priority when the Norwegian government launched its High North policy in 2006. Since then, loads of talks and planning have followed, but now budget cash. Until today.
The government announced Wednesday that funding will be granted over the State Budget 2013.
The new research vessel will be owned by the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø, but operated by the shipping department of the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen. The University of Tromsø is a third partner to use the vessel in its research work in the High North.
Director Jan-Gunnar Winther says in a comment posted on the portal of the Norwegian Polar Institute that this is a happy day for Norway.
“We and the University of Tromsø has for several years been working to make this happen. An ice-classed vessel opens new opportunities for climate research and other polar research in both the Arctic and Antarctic. This means that Norway will remain in the forefront when it comes to knowledge of the polar regions,” says Jan-Gunnar Winther.
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.