NSF has finally named the third RCRV operator. University of Southern Mississippi and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) have partnered (with others) to operate the third ship, they’ve announced today. I guess this makes LUMCON partners in a double imbedded consortium within a consortium which is kind of mind blowing. But either way, it’s going to be great working with our new partners to bring the third RCRV to life for work in and around the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding waters. There’s sure plenty for ships like these to do down there. As I understand it, their (to be named later) ship will likely be home ported right across the canal from Gulf Island Shipyard! So what will take 30 days for OSU will take our new partners more like 30 minutes to get home for the first time.
Let’s see. It’s been awhile since I’ve made a post, so what should I highlight? Lots has been happening so I hope you’ve been following us on Facebook and Instagram. We’ve been doing a couple of posts a week showing the construction progress of Taani. One thing I can announce today is that, as of last Friday, Gulf Island Shipyard has officially started construction of the second ship, Resolution. The ceremonial keel laying was last May, but now we can say that fabrication has started in earnest.
Though the operator for the third ship was named today, we (OSU) exercised the contract option for the third ship over a year ago. Lots of planning and prep have occurred in the ensuing months and construction on the third ship will start not too far in the future. Next year is going to be a busy year at Gulf Island with three ships under construction for OSU alone.
If you haven’t seen the live webcams in awhile, I encourage you to check in. Taani is really starting to look like a ship now, although it’s a little hard to tell from the webcams because the modules are not visually in order quite yet. Soon, they’ll start landing some of the major systems like the main engines (which have passed Factory Acceptance Testing), the thrusters (that are on hand ready to go), and the overboard handling systems (some of which are being factory tested this week).
Sorry for the long delay between posts. I’ll try to do better.