Alewijnse to Extend Lifetime of RV Belgica

Alewijnse Marine Systems has secured a job to refit the electrical systems onboard RV Belgica, an oceanographic research vessel owned by the Belgian state.

The refit will start in April 2016 and take several months to complete, the company informed.

RV Belgica celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014 and renovations are necessary for the ship to continue in active service for another seven years. The vessel is the subject of a maintenance agreement between the Belgian Navy and Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque.

Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque chose Alewijnse based on the previous work onboard RV Belgica in 2015, when the company was contracted to renew damaged cables and replace some of the starter panels for various pumps and engines as a result of water damage. Those repairs were carried out at the Naval Base in Zeebrugge.

Alewijnse’s scope of work will include the refit of the main switchboard and the replacement of the batteries, CCP system, the control system on diesel equipment in the ECR panel and the navigation lights.

The partial replacement of the window wiper system and a bridge console, and the addition to the fire detection system of a repeater panel and CCTV system are also among the activities to be undertaken.

Furthermore, the company said it would deliver new wing panels and a completely new alarm and monitoring system, and perform additional support activities such as system commissioning.

RV Belgica is owned by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) on behalf of the Belgian State and is managed by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). The vessel was christened in 1984 by Queen Fabiola, and is 50.9 metres long, 10 metres wide and draws 4.6 metres.

The ship is made available to Belgian scientists to carry out maritime scientific research. Activities include the monitoring of the water quality of the North Sea, where scientists continuously collect data on the biological, chemical, physical, geological and hydrodynamic processes in the region. In addition, RV Belgica acts as a floating laboratory for researchers from Belgian universities and scientific institutes seeking to enlarge their knowledge of the marine environment.

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