Construction of Polar Research Vessel


Ever since the first Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica way back in 1981, India has been managing the transportation of the expedition personnel and cargo to and back from Antarctica through chartered vessels. However, the very fact that these vessels were basically ice-class cargo vessels rendered them unsuitable for oceanographic research work. Taking into consideration (i) the growing need of the scientific community to initiate studies in the frontier realms of ocean sciences, (ii) the uncertainty in the charter-hire of polar vessels and the ever-escalating chartering costs, and (iii) the expansion of our scientific activities into the Arctic and Southern Ocean, the Ministry, during the early part of the XI Plan period, decided to explore the feasibility of constructing and commissioning a polar research vessel which can cater to both the scientific and logistics aspects of the polar and Southern Ocean programmes. As the nodal agency responsible for the implementation of the country’s polar and Southern Ocean programmes, NCPOR was entrusted with the task of planning, co-ordinating and accomplishing the various facets of the work programme. Pursuant to the approvals of the EFC and related competent bodies/authorities, NCPOR initiated the preliminary work towards the implementation of the programme during 2008-09.

a) Objectives:

  1. To construct and commission a research-cum-supply vessel for the Antarctic, Arctic, Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean operations.
  2. To equip the vessel with the state-of-the art scientific equipment/instrumentation to undertake front ranking oceanographic research.

b) Participating Institutions:

National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research, Goa

c) Implementation Plan:

  1. Finalization of the design specifications including the onboard laboratory instrumentation and infrastructure.
  2. Floating of a Global Tender for the construction and identification of the Shipyard.
  3. Finalization of the Agreement with the identified Yard
  4. Initiation of construction of the polar research vessel. (2012-13)
  5. Construction and sea trials (2013-15)
  6. Commissioning of the vessel (2015-16)

d) Deliverables

When delivered the polar research vessel will cater to the scientific and logistics needs of the Indian scientific endeavors in Antarctica, Southern Ocean and Arctic seas.

So far the expeditions have been launched using cargo vessels with the result that no significant marine scientific experiments could be launched.

Owning our own ice breaker vessel will reduce India’s dependence on foreign vessels and give us freedom of planning diverse scientific programs.

The ship will also cater to two different Indian stations- Maitri and Bharati- so far as replenishing the life saving commodities such as fuel, food and medicines as also other equipment such as snow vehicles, scientific equipment are concerned, thereby saving huge foreign exchange.

e) Budget Requirement : 797 Crores

(Rs. In crores)

Budget Requirement
Name of the Scheme2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17Total
Construction of Polar Research Vessel316.00321.00137.0022.001.00797.00


Last Updated On 08/14/2018 - 10:46
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