GSI to get new, hi-tech vessel for combing ocean depths

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is turning to technology for scouring the depths of India's territorial waters. It is in the process of procuring a brand new research vessel for undertaking seabed surveys and exploration of non-living resources at a cumulative cost of Rs 549.5 crore.

The new vessel, which will serve as a replacement of the existing research vessel ‘Samudra Manthan' will have an endurance of 45 days and the GSI has prepared a long-term programme for operating the vessel in the exclusive economic zone and beyond. It will have the capability to survey the full ocean depth of 6,000 metres.

The concept design and technical specifications for the new vessel were prepared by two consultants appointed by the GSI — state owned Shipping Corporation of India, which was appointed on a nomination basis, and Norway's Wartsila Ship Design, which was appointed as the second consultant through the global tendering process. The shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea has been selected for constructing the vessel.

The vessel is expected to be delivered by September 2013. Onboard scientific equipment in the vessel will include an acoustic Doppler, current profiler, a deep water multi-beam echo sounder, a shallow water multi-beam echo sounder, a sub-bottom profiler and a marine data management system. P.M.

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