Plans for a new Belgian research vessel
It is time to replace Belgica, the research vessel from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (KBIN-IRNSB). That's why the KBIN-IRNSB is investing in a new vessel to continue its scientific research at sea.
Belgica is worn out. After 30 years of service, during which the vessel was used, among other things, to analyse the water quality in the North Sea, the time has come to replace it. The maintenance and technical breakdowns have become very expensive. Its successor, costing about 54 million euros, will be ready by October 2020.
This price includes additional laboratory space on board for researchers and the most modern scientific equipment. The vessel will be 3 to 4 times bigger and 20 metres longer than Belgica. Furthermore, it will come with a quiet motor, which is important in fishing research.
The new research vessel still needs a name, which will be chosen following a competition for secondary school pupils from years 1-4. They can participate until 31 January 2019. The public will then select a winner.