RDC and Fugro Bringing Arctic-Class Vessel with Research and Development Capabilities to Newfoundland and Labrador

Jan 28, 2015, 08:30 ET from Research & Development Corporation

ST. JOHN'S, Jan. 28, 2015  /CNW/ - The Research & Development Corporation (RDC) is pleased to announce a $4.9 million investment in a multi-purpose survey, support and research and development vessel to be stationed in St. John's. The total cost to design, build and operate such a vessel over a 10-year period is estimated at more than $100 million which will be funded by Fugro GeoSurveys (FGI). RDC's investment directly targets the research and development capabilities, equipment and operations of the vessel, which will be built and operated by Fugro GeoSurveys.

"Newfoundland and Labrador has an innovative ocean technology sector that will greatly benefit from a vessel providing dedicated time for research endeavours. This vessel will provide the necessary infrastructure for more offshore research activities and represents another step in strengthening our position as the pathway to the Arctic."
- The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

RDC's $4.9 million investment is being provided under its Petroleum R&D Accelerator Program. This funding program focuses on leveraging R&D investments with significant potential to impact petroleum exploration, development and operations. The multipurpose vessel will provide long-term supply and service opportunities for local companies. While its core activities will consist of industry work, Fugro will dedicate 90 days per year for research and development activities. Additional information on the vessel can be found in the backgrounder below.

"This is a purpose-built, modern ice-class vessel capable of supporting research and development for the ocean technology sector, offshore petroleum industry and others. This vessel will complement the suite of world class research and development facilities currently in this province, and I am confident it will lead to increased offshore and Arctic research and development, commercial testing, and value-added economic activity."
- Glenn Janes, CEO, Research & Development Corporation

The approximately 80-metre vessel, to be built and operated by Fugro GeoSurveys (FGI), will permit harsh environment and arctic research and development work. The estimated completion time for the vessel is March 2017. Once built, the vessel will be based in St. John's and will have an estimated vessel compliment of 40-50 professionals.

 "There has never been a greater need for a purpose built marine survey vessel in our region.  Our marine based industries and technologies are continuing to expand, move to deeper waters and harsher environments.  This investment will allow us to support our industries growing technical, safety, and science needs as we continue to develop our natural resources."
- Mike Cole, President, Fugro Canada Corp.

RDC is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's research and development performance. RDC works with research and development stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments to make strategic investments in highly qualified people, R&D infrastructure and innovative research. Additional information about RDC can be found at: www.rdc.org.


  • The Research & Development Corporation is providing a $4.9 million investment in a multi-purpose survey, support and research and development vessel for Newfoundland and Labrador waters and Arctic regions.
  • The vessel will provide an opportunity for increased offshore and Arctic research and development and commercial testing, which will help drive new economic activity in the province.
  • This vessel will provide much needed new infrastructure for offshore R&D activities, further strengthening the province's growing ocean technology sector.


RDC and Fugro Bringing Arctic-Class Vessel with R&D Capabilities to Newfoundland and Labrador

Multi-Purpose Survey, Support and Research and Development Vessel
The 80-metre vessel will have accommodations for researchers, custom built laboratories and training areas, and high speed data and video uplinks to shore labs and classrooms. Other specifications include dynamic positioning and a fuel efficient diesel-electric propulsion system, hull-mounted seabed mapping and acoustic positioning sensors, a large back deck with cranes and winches, and electrical and hydraulic power for a variety of scientific systems. Acoustic quieting characteristics and Arctic clean-design will help ensure this vessel has minimum impact on the environment.

The vessel will help expand the province's ocean technology R&D capacity by permitting companies to perform product field trials in harsh environments, bringing products closer to commercialization. The project will further enhance the province's R&D capabilities in support of Arctic technology development applicable to the development of offshore petroleum resources. The availability of the vessel will attract international companies, researchers, and organizations that have interest in Arctic opportunities.

Fugro Canada Corp.
Fugro and its senior staff have been servicing the marine geoscience and marine construction support sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador for over 35 years. Fugro offers a wide range of marine survey services to offshore oil and gas, engineering, environmental, government and academic clients across Canada.  Its primary areas of focus in Newfoundland and Labrador are in geophysics and seabed mapping, marine geotechnical (soils) investigation, and precise surface and sub-surface positioning. Its locally trained and resident staff of engineers, geoscientists, hydrographers, technicians and support personnel is expected to grow significantly through this new investment.


SOURCE Research & Development Corporation