Norwegian industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke will use the Research Expedition Vessel (REV) for private trips as well as allowing it to be used by scientists and environmentalists to study the ocean

The contact has been signed to build REV – one of the largest Research Expedition Vessel’s ever built.

Global designers and shipbuilders, Vard Holdings Limited, secured the deal with Rosellinis Four-10, which is wholly-owned by the Norwegian industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke and his

At 182-metre long, REV will be bigger than Andrey Melnichenko’s Sailing Yacht A, although a great deal shorter than the world’s biggest ship, Pioneering Spirit, which is 382-metres long.

Although it will be used by Kjell Inge Røkke’s family for private cruises, REV will be tailor-made for worldwide research and expedition activities, and WWF Norway has already been invited to make use of the vessel.

Renders of REV - Research Exploration vessel

REV will be used for private charters and research expeditions

Developed by Vard Design in collaboration with Kjell Inge Røkke and the designer, Espen Øino, REV is expected to enter service in 2020.

The hull will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania, and towed to Vard Brattvaag in Norway for outfitting.

After delivery in Norway, the vessel will return to Romania for fairing, deck laying and finalisation of the accommodation area.

Equipped with the latest technology on board, the vessel will be one of the most advanced research expedition vessels in the world.

It will be used for monitoring and surveying marine areas, currents, the seabed, fish, animals and plant life in all of the world’s oceans.

It is no surprise then that the ship’s environmental performance is crucial.

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Vard Holding Ltd said that in order to secure the most cost efficient, silent, comfortable and environmentally friendly expeditions in all weather conditions, REV has been designed with slim hull lines in combination with wave-cutting bulb, slender foreship, large propellers and two pairs of stabilisation fins.

Other key features are the energy recovery rudder system, medium speed engines, a direct drive diesel-electric propulsion system with battery package, and an exhaust cleaning system.

The vessel will also employ Vard’s SeaQ Green Pilot, a data driven maritime energy management and operational performance system.

By using real-time measurements, mathematical models and analysis of the REV’s performance, an expert system will give the operator advice on the ship’s performance and fuel consumption.

The research and expedition area features modern laboratories, an auditorium, a hangar for a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) with direct access to the vessel’s moonpool, and a multifunctional cargo deck.

A picture of a research vessel on the sea

Vard’s subsidary Seaonics has developed a large high-end scientific winch package for handling through the ship’s moonpool and over the side.

A 20 tonne fibre rope crane will be able to reach depths of 6,000 metres, while a pelagic trawl setup with catch selection can be used for operations down to a depth of 3,000 metres.

All operations including trawling will be inside operations either from the hangar amidships or from a horizontal built in A-frame construction at the stern.

In total, REV will have accommodation space for 90 people, although it will only take a maximum of 36 guests on board.

Commenting on the project, Kjell Inge Røkke, said: “My very first large factory trawler was built by Vard 30 years ago, and I have enjoyed a great relationship with the team at Vard since then.”

“I know what Vard stands for, and it is a pleasure to come back and build this Research Expedition Vessel together with them,” continued the Norwegian businessman.

“The REV will be a platform for gathering knowledge. I would like to welcome researchers, environmental groups, and other institutions on board, to acquire new skills to evolve innovative solutions to address challenges and opportunities connected to the seas,” added Røkke.