RRS Sir David Attenborough Construction Moves Forward

Cammell Laird shipyard has reached the nine-month milestone in its project to build the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The ship has been commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and it will be operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said that since August 2016 1,800 tonnes of steel, out of a total of 5,200 tonnes, had been fabricated to make the hull of the ship, which carries the Cammell Laird hull number 1,390 and is due to enter service in 2019.

“The project has generated real momentum and we are pleased to be on time,” John Syvret said.

Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts added that important landmarks in the build so far include the testing and fitting of two Rolls-Royce drive propulsion motors weighing 115 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the ship’s stern thrusters have also been trialed and fitted to the ship. The two 1,576kw rated thrusters were made by North East manufacturer Tees White Gill.

“The next phases of the build will focus on the power of the ship, with four seven meter long electrical propulsion switchboards installed, together with four two metre long frequency converters,” said Linton Roberts. “We will then look at the moon pool structure, one of the most complex and innovative aspects of the ship’s design.”

In addition, the team is planning to install the nine and six cylinder Rolls-Royce engines in the ship shortly.

Cammell Laird has also been able to deploy its two new 15 tonne and 50 tonne cranes for steel production in its construction hall.