The construction of the new research ship “Polarstern” is still delayed.
Originally, the successor to what is probably the best-known German research ship 2017 was to leave for the first time. But there were considerable delays in the award procedure.
The goal of completing this 2019 was also missed, as the Tagesspiegel recently reported. According to a message from the Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF) on Friday, “the Europe-wide tender for the purchase of a new polar research ship, the Polarstern II, has now been lifted for legal reasons”.
“No tenderable offer”
Upon request, the ministry announced that there was “no tenderable offer”. Please understand that due to public procurement law, no further details may be reported.
The ministry explains that polar research is essential for climate research and therefore it is now Alfred -Wegener-Institut (AWI) wants to be able to “procure a powerful, economical and internationally respected position of Germany in the field of polar and climate research in due time”.
38 years “under the keel”
In fact the “Polarstern “- currently on the” Mosaic “expedition” in the Arctic – already 38 years old, which is considered outdated for research ships. This increases the maintenance effort, which the AWI has now calculated at ten million euros a year. The hope of a replacement soon did not materialize Antje Boetius according to an institute announcement.
Opportunity to make the successor even more modern
“In the long term, without a modern research icebreaker, we can do the job we got from of society, did not meet 100 percent. “
Boetius continued,“ Now everything is being given that a new procedure is now being set up and that we can coordinate it with the BMBF as quickly as possible possible to get a successor. ”The new plans are also an opportunity to take into account new technologies that were hardly conceivable years ago. This includes, for example, using more and more powerful robots.
A billion euros in targeted total costs
Even if things should go better now: another contract award and the construction itself will take several years. The BMBF does not provide any concrete estimates of the expected costs, but only gives a total of one billion euros for the new buildings for “Polarstern”, “Meteor” and “Sonne”. The new “Sun” has been running since 2014 and cost 124 million euros.
The “Meteor IV”, which is to replace the existing “Meteor” and the 2019 “Poseidon” taken out of service, could 2024 will be put into service, as the BMBF reports. The participation competition for the Europe-wide tender for the shipyard services should start in June. The contract award is expected for 2022.