Agência Marinha de Notícias (Navy News Agency) – Rio de Janeiro, RJ

After the contract signature that took place today at the Navy Arsenal in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR) will receive, by 2025, a new ship to support operations in Antarctica. The Antarctic Support Vessel (NApAnt) will be 93.9 meters long, 18.5 meters wide, with a draught of six meters and autonomy for 70 days. With diesel-electric propulsion, the ship will have a crew of 95 people, including 26 researchers.

With its construction, 500 to 600 direct and 6 thousand indirect jobs are expected to be generated, besides promoting the Brazilian naval industry and the national technological base. Present at the event were the Minister of State of Science, Technology and Innovations, Paulo Alvim, the Commander of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Almir Garnier Santos, representatives from the Navy, from EMGEPRON, and from the companies involved.

The new ship of the Brazilian Navy will replace and develop the same missions as the Oceanographic Support Vessel “Ary Rongel”, but with enhanced capabilities due to the experience in PROANTAR and the requirements to support the new Antarctic Station Comandante Ferraz (EACF).

“To maintain its status as a consultative member of the Antarctic Treaty, Brazil needs to be present and conduct substantial scientific research in the region, a fact that the new ship will help to increase,” said the Navy’s Director-General for Material, Fleet Admiral José Augusto Vieira da Cunha de Menezes.

The contract foresees the construction, in Brazilian territory, of a ship capable of operating during summer and fall in the Antarctic Continent and with the capacity to navigate both on the most recent ice formation, as well as on the oldest slabs, which have greater resistance.

NApAnt will be built at the facilities of the Jurong-Aracruz Shipyard (EJA), located in the state of Espírito Santo. “As a signatory member of the Antarctic Treaty, our country now has the right to vote and to participate in decision forums about the destiny of the austral continent, as well as to assume international commitments in an international cooperation regime related to the preservation of the freedom of scientific exploration in that region”, added Admiral Cunha.

The document was signed between the Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON) and Polar 1 Construção Naval SPE Ltda. – a Special Purpose Company constituted by Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz Ltda. and SembCorp Marine Specialised Shipbuilding (SMSS) PTE. LTDA.

The purpose is to build a vessel capable of navigating on ice fields. For this, it needs to have a hull in a specific shape and reinforced, particularly in its bow, to open the way and break the ice sheets, using the ship’s own weight and, sometimes, the turbulence caused by its propellers.

To obtain the NApAnt, EMGEPRON capitalized approximately R$740 million. The investment involves the purchase of scientific equipment and systems, life cycle management plans and logistical support for the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR).

The scope of engineering, procurement and construction will be conducted by EJA, with the transfer of knowledge and experience of SMSS in the construction of a similar vessel, in Singapore. During the signing event, the CEO of EMGEPRON, Vice-Admiral (IM) Edesio Teixeira Lima Junior, highlighted that “the construction of the ship will increase the Brazilian participation in the decision processes about the destiny of the Antarctic Continent, since the Antarctic Program will have a better equipped ship.

Among the expected benefits are the reduction in the time needed to refuel the EACF, with the inclusion of modern cranes with greater loading and maneuvering capacity on the new ship; a sophisticated navigation and control system, which will allow for greater safety when approaching the beach, for the unloading of material and personnel; greater capacity to support research activities, with the ability to launch camps, thus enabling the expansion of the area that can be visited by researchers, including the ocean and land regions. At the end of the event, Minister Paulo Alvim praised the signing of the contract and emphasized its importance for Brazilian scientific research.

“This is the year of the bicentennial. It is a year of deliveries that mark the efforts of many Brazilians throughout this time. I would like to thank the partnerships that the Navy, the Air Force, and Brazilian science have in the Antarctic continent. There is a piece of Brazil where Brazilians work in favor of Brazil and the planet.

*** Translated by DEFCONPress Team ***

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