The RRS Discovery arrived on Tuesday in Chile's extreme south port of Punta Arenas in advance of her next research expedition, to undertake seismic survey and piston coring operations in the eastern Falkland Plateau region of the Sub-Antarctic Southwest Atlantic Ocean.
The Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird said it saw off competition from Europe and beyond including Korea and Singapore to be selected as the preferred bidder to build a new vessel for the UK-funded Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The contract was signed last week and it is expected that full production will start in June next year, and on completion the vessel will be operated by NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
The U.K. Government announced on Monday that Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has been selected as the preferred bidder to build the nation’s new £200 million polar research ship. The decision follows a 12-month competitive tender process that involved bids from companies in the U.K., Spain, Norway, Singapore and South Korea.
Scientists from the U.K. and Brazil will work together to study the formation of ocean minerals essential for new technology, particularly environmental technology such as photovoltaic cells.
The British government will fund a new £200 million polar research ship to put UK scientists at the forefront of climate and ocean research in both Antarctica and the Arctic, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced on Friday in a speech.
With the Antarctic Summer well underway, British Antarctic Territory Commissioner Peter Hayes has sent his well wishes to British Antarctic Survey staff (BAS) working on the continent over the coming months. In a recent letter to UK Base commanders Dr Hayes commented:
An Iceberg, the size of Manhattan in area, was derived from the Pine Island Glacier, and is currently moving through the Southern Ocean. To keep track of its movements and melting Professor Grant Bigg of UK's University of Sheffield has been awarded a £50,000 grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for the 6 month project.
Plans to merge the British Antarctic Survey (closely linked to the Falkland Islands) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) have been ruled out, Science minister David Willetts announced. In a written statement he said the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) had decided not to proceed with the proposal.