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Tuesday, December 21, 2021 

Five years after Damen Shipyards Group began construction, the new Antarctic Supply & Research Vessel (ASRV) 'Nuyina' for the Australian government has arrived at its home port of Hobart, powered by a Bakker Sliedrecht-supplied electric propulsion system.

The propulsion system enables Nuyina to sail both electrically and in hybrid modes and break through the Antarctic ice at full power. The vessel's task includes scientific research around the South Pole and delivery of personnel, cargo and equipment to and from the Antarctic and subantarctic stations. It will be deployed as rescue vessel in case of  emergency response, disaster relief, evacuations or pollutant contamination incidents and as a patrol vessel. It has its own research laboratory, can carry 1200t of cargo and can accommodate 150 people. The Nuyina can sail in temperatures of -40 deg C and break through 1.65m thick ice at a speed of 3 knots. The name Nuyina is the Tasmanian Aboriginal word for southern lights.

Bakker Sliedrecht engineered the electric propulsion to achieve near-zero environmental impact. The vessel can sail on its diesel engines, its electric motors or both. Nuyina can sail entirely on diesel to get from A to B as quickly as possible. Fully electric for quiet and economical sailing or on a diesel engine and an electric motor, where the other diesel engine generates energy. In the icebreaker mode, the diesel engines as well as the electric motors and thrusters can be used at full power. In DP mode, those thrusters hold the ship in position.

Bakker Sliedrecht supplied four water-cooled frequency drives that can be deployed multifunctionally, for the two propulsion motors 3700kW each or for the three thrusters with 1300kW electric motors at the stern, three thrusters with 1300kW electric motors for the bow and two transformers for the Power Take Off/Power Take In system. (PTO/PTI). This generates power for propulsion as well as for other purposes, such as on-board voltage. The thrusters are used for both propulsion and the DP system that keeps the ship in position. Bakker Sliedrecht gave online training to the Australian crew to help them get to know the installation and to operate all the modes of electric propulsion.

Project manager Arie de Jong said: "The vessel had to be able to sail under very difficult circumstances and heavy weather conditions. It also needed a hybrid propulsion. That made it technically very complex and the project very challenging. That is reflected in the construction time. We received the first order in 2016 and it was delivered in the summer of 2021. However, the Nuyina has become a state-of-the-art ship with unique features. We as Bakker Sliedrecht and its project team are proud of that."

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