During a mission in the United States, Fincantieri has announced that the company has gained a new order. In fact Marinette Marine Corporation, Fincantieri’s American subsidiary, will build an oceanographic research vessel capable of working in icy arctic waters (Alaska Region Research Vessel – ARRV) for the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. The vessel, which will be built at Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, is worth over 120 million dollars.

The piece of news has been released today by Fincantieri on occasion of the presentation of the company’s activities in the United States. Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono, and Chairman, Corrado Antonini will meet the Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata at the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. At the meeting will take part Members of Congress and high U.S. Navy officers.

Work will commence on the ship in the last quarter of 2010 for delivery in 2013, and operational start-up in 2014. Designed by The Glosten Associates, a marine architecture firm in Seattle, the new research vessel will be one of the most advanced in the world. Capable of breaking up ice up  to  80 cm thick, the ship will work in the icy Arctic seas, the Bering Strait and the Gulf of Alaska. The ship will be equipped with a suite of winches to raise and lower scientific equipment and remotely operated vehicles to enable researchers to collect sediment samples from the seafloor. In addition, the instrumentation on board will make it possible to transmit information in real-time to research facilities throughout the world.  The 77-meter long ship will provide accommodation for 26 scientists and students, including those with disabilities and will be built to have the lowest possible environmental impact and reduced underwater-radiated noise for research on fish and marine mammals. 

The vessel will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Fairbanks as part of the U.S. academic research fleet. It will be available to the international oceanographic community through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System. Designed to study the modalities and consequences of climate change in the Arctic, the new ship will also be used to study the marine  ecosystem in some of the most productive fishing areas of the United States which are situated in the Arctic region.

Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Bono, commented on the news of the order: “This order confirms that it was a strategic choice to be present in the U.S. market by purchasing shipyards for construction in loco, as required under America law. In a period of a serious world crisis as today, in which, even tough we are seeing some encouraging sign of recovery, the shipbuilding industry is suffering from a drastic reduction in orders, business diversification is one of our strengths and the best response to the current downturn in demand from shipowners”.