The CSIRO has announced that construction of its new $120 million Marine National Facility research vessel, the Investigator, has begun in Singapore.


Predominately concerned with marine and atmospheric research, the 93.6 metre research vessel will be conducting research from Antarctic waters to Australia’s tropical north.


The contract to construct the vessel was awarded to Teekay Holdings Australia, which is partnered with the Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore.


“The equipment on board our new world-class vessel will for the first time allow Australian scientists to carry out advanced atmospheric research on board the Marine National Facility,” Executive Director of the Future Research Vessel Project at CSIRO, Toni Moate, said.


“It will also be capable of mapping the seafloor six kilometres below the surface, conducting deep water coring to 24 metres and it will have the latest satellite communications technology.”


The Investigator will be operated by the CSIRO and will be available to all Australian marine scientists. The vessel replaces the existing Marine National Facility ship, the Southern Surveyor.


In 2009 the Australian Government committed AU$120 million to the purchase of a new research vessel for the Marine National Facility. The project is an initiative of the Australian Government being conducted as part of the Super Science Initiative and financed from the Education Investment Fund.