The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEAT) and STX Finland signed a contract worth €116m in November 2009, for the construction of the Polar Supply and Research Vessel. The contract is one of the biggest single civil trade pacts to date between South Africa and the Finish industry.
The vessel was being built to replace the DEAT’s existing polar supply and research ship SA Agulhas. Commissioned in 1978, SA Agulhas is operated and maintained by Smit Amandla Marine. It has taken at least one Antarctic replenishment voyage each summer.
The new vessel was named SA Agulhas II in July 2011. She was delivered in April 2012 after completion of sea trials in March.
SA Agulhas II was built by STX Finland’s shipyard in Rauma. She is operated and maintained by Smit Amandla Marine.
Design and construction
SA Agulhas II has been designed as a multi-purpose vessel, capable of serving as an icebreaker, research vessel, expedition vessel, supply vessel and cruise ship. The 134m-long ship is capable of accommodating 100 researchers / passengers and 45 crew members.
Construction of the vessel was launched in September 2010 and required nearly 600 person-years of employment.
In January 2010, STX contracted Ruukki for the delivery of 6,000t of shipbuilding plates for the vessel.
Raytheon Anschutz will supplied an integrated bridge system (IBS) for the vessel by the end of 2011.