TasPorts and the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) have signed a new five-year agreement to support the Port of Hobart in receiving the RSV Nuyina when the vessel arrives in mid-2021.

TasPorts CEO, Anthony Donald, said he was pleased both parties had reached this milestone, as a critical next step in ensuring the realisation of a dedicated Antarctic precinct at the port.

“Whilst the Port of Hobart is currently equipped to facilitate the arrival of RSV Nuyina, a joint TasPorts/AAD investment of $3 million will see the delivery of minor infrastructure upgrades, including fenders and bollards, to ensure the berth’s suitability for the 160m vessel,” Mr Donald said.

“During the five-year term, both companies are committed to working together to confirm longer-term arrangements to ensure fit-for-purpose operational and infrastructure requirements are met.”

Mr Donald said the agreement signifies an important step forward in future proofing the Port of Hobart to meet the needs of Antarctic exploration.

“TasPorts is committed to ensuring the port and its infrastructure actively supports the Tasmanian Antarctic Gateway Strategy, to build Tasmania’s reputation as the gateway to east Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,” Mr Donald said.

RSV Nuyina is a $1.9 billion investment by the Australian Government that forms the centrepiece of the Australian Antarctic Strategy, and recognises the important role the region plays in the future of Australia’s climate and economy.

AAD General Manager, Assets and Infrastructure, Rob Bryson, said the ship will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research.

“Nuyina has unparalleled scientific, cargo and icebreaking capability to explore one of the last frontiers on Earth,” Mr Bryson said.

“These capabilities will enable and support international scientific collaboration with other Antarctic Treaty nations working in the region.”

Mr Bryson said a berth in the Port of Hobart will provide significant economic opportunities for Tasmanian businesses over the ship’s 30-year life span.

“The AAD looks forward to building our partnership with TasPorts to develop a world-class home port for this world-class ship,” Mr Bryson said.

“We welcome this initial funding agreement as the first step for further investment in the deck remediation and shore power facilities required to support an icebreaking, science, and cargo vessel on the scale of RSV Nuyina.

“In our gateway city, we embrace a future vision where Hobart is the port of choice for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean fleet of many nations.”

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