Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has awarded Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) an award today to build a wide-area seabed research vessel, enabling “wide-area research into seafloor resources, including mineral and ore deposit origins and formation conditions, and will also enable contributions to disaster prevention research.”
According to an emailed statement, MHI will commence construction at their Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture within the current fiscal year, with completion scheduled for March 2016.
This 5,500 gross ton ship will be approximately 100 meters in length and have a 19 meter beam. Accommodations will be provided for up to 65 personnel.
Installed equipment will enable the study of crustal structure via large piston corers and a seafloor-mounted excavator for collecting seabed samples. In addition, the ship will carry a remotely operated vehicle and an autonomous underwater vehicle.
In recent years MHI has constructed a number of cutting-edge research vessels such as the Shinsei Maru, delivered to JAMSTEC, and the Hakurei, delivered to Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to study marine resources.