The 182.9 metre record-breaking in-build research expedition vessel REV Ocean has been delayed by between "three to five years" and will not set sail until at least 2024, the team behind the project has said.
The REV Ocean team revealed the project, which was originally set to launch next year, has been "beset by delays caused by the yard" and could potentially not be in operation until 2026.
“We have been hoping the situation would improve, but compounding issues are causing further setbacks,” a statement posted on social media said. “We have not received a timeline for when a compliant ship will be delivered.”
The statement cited “technical and weight” problems with the construction, which is currently underway at Vard Brattvåg shipyard in Norway. The issues mean REV Ocean is “not in accordance with the specifications in the shipbuilding contract.”
“During this time, we will continue to implement our overarching mission, but as a result of the extended delay of the ship, all vessel-related activities will temporarily be put on hold,” the statement continued.
“Unfortunately, this will have consequences for our entire team, but the intention is to reconstitute when the vessel is closer to completion.”
It comes after the REV Ocean team told BOAT International last year that construction on the project had been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently under construction in Norway, the record-breaking build is set to complete construction at Lloyd Werft in Germany, which will support the owner's team in the installation of the interiors, painting of the superstructure and assembly of the outer ceilings.
The vessel arrived at the Vard Brattvåg shipyard in Norway to begin outfitting in February 2020 after leaving the Vard Tulcea yard in Romania.
Speaking about Lloyd Werft, chief executive of REV Ocean, Nina Jensen, previously said the yard "will provide us with the highest quality of shipyard facilities and environmental standards. This will be the last stage of the building process and then REV Ocean will be operational, and ready to develop innovative solutions, for a positive change in the ocean.”
It comes after REV hit the water on Saturday August 24 at the Fincantieri/ Vard Holdings yard in Tulcea, Romania.
When complete REV will be 2.3 metres longer than Azzam, the world’s largest superyacht. Although it will not be considered as a fully-fledged superyacht, the vessel has been developed in collaboration with leading superyacht designer Espen Øino.
Rosellinis Four-10's owner Kjell Inge Røkke previously explained: “REV will be a platform for gathering knowledge. I would like to welcome researchers, environmental groups, and other institutions on board, to acquire new skills to evolve innovative solutions to address challenges and opportunities connected to the seas.”
Advanced oceanography equipment will be fitted on board, allowing Rosellinis Four-10 to survey marine areas, currents, the seabed, fish, animals and plant life.
As is fitting for such an environmentally conscious project, REV has been designed to be as fuel efficient as possible, with an energy recovery rudder system, medium speed engines, a direct drive diesel-electric propulsion system, and an exhaust cleaning system.
Other key on-board features include a multifunctional cargo deck and storage for an autonomous submersible, as well as laboratories and an auditorium. Accommodation is for 36 guests and 54 crew members, while the maximum beam is 22 metres.