The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) has appointed a shipyard for the construction of oceangoing research vessel (RV) Anna Weber-van Bosse. Astilleros Armon in Vigo, Spain, will build the successor to NIOZ’s flagship RV Pelagia.

Earlier this week, the twenty-day objection period expired for rejected shipyards to object to the preliminary award of the shipbuilding contract. As a result, NIOZ could now reveal the winning yard. The ship is expected to be delivered in mid-2025.

Also read: Thecla Bodewes Shipyards will build new research vessel for NIOZ

Spanish yard for Anna Weber-van Bosse

In October, the evaluation committee ranked the bids on price, technical offer, plan of action, sustainability, project organisation and innovation for the Anna Weber-van Bosse. Shipyard Astilleros Armon turned out to be the yard that best matched the tender. This was based on the “Programme of Requirements,” a comprehensive inventory of the scientific and technical functional requirements of all conceivable Dutch stakeholders, including the crew of the RV Pelagia and National Marine Research Facilities (NMF).

The Spanish yard has extensive experience in the building of research vessels. Just recently, for example, it delivered the RV Tom Crean to the Irish Marine Institute.

More extensive external communication and information about the construction will follow soon, when the contract is signed. At this formal signing ceremony, the boards of NWO-I, NIOZ and Astilleros Armon will be present.


In addition to technical and economic aspects, sustainability also played an important role in the development of the concept design and award of the new ship to be built. For example, in accordance with the tender documents, the yards included in their bids that the ship should be prepared to use methanol as a carbon-neutral fuel in the future.

Also, the ship will be equipped with a battery pack to allow hybrid operation, solar panels will be installed, and saving fuel is central to all kinds of choices.

Also read: NIOZ orders second research vessel replacement

Tender process

A European Tender procedure according to “Competitive procedure with negotiation” was launched in July 2020. The tender suffered delays after one of the potentially bidding shipyards filed for summary judgment about the contract conditions requested in the tender just before the final date of the tender.

At the end, this process led to a final bid received on August 24th from three yards; Astilleros Armon submitted the best offer and has been awarded the contract for construction.

NIOZ fleet replacement

NIOZ is also replacing the rest of its research fleet with new tonnage. The first of its three new research vessels to enter service is the Adriaen Coenen. It is the smallest ship in the new research fleet and replaces the RV Stern. It was christened and delivered in July. Next Generations Shipyards built the vessel.

Also read: First new NIOZ research vessel Adriaen Coenen christened

The replacement of the RV Navicula will be called the RV Wim Wolff, which will be certified for the open ocean with some restrictions with respect to the sailing area. The Wim Wolff will be outfitted at the Thecla Bodewes Shipyard in Harlingen and the hull sections of aluminium are being built by Dutch companies N. Dijkstra Metaalbewerking in Harlingen and by Alubouw Fryslan. The superstructure sections are built by KB in Makkum, the Netherlands. N. Dijkstra Metaalbewerking is also responsible for the hull assembly.

RV Wim Wolff will be delivered in the spring of 2023 at the earliest.

Picture: Impression of RV Anna Weber-van Bosse (by C-Job/Astilleros Armon).