The Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke, whose money has been made in the offshore oil industry is to pay back the oceans by building a research vessel.
The 182-metre yacht designed by Espen Oeino and will be built by Vard a Norwegian shipbuilding and repair yard that is part of the Fincantieri Group
What has been billed as the future “largest yacht in the world” is being built to undertake environmental research missions and will work alongside Norway’s World Wildlife Fund whose mission is to preserve our oceans for future generations.
The Research Expedition Vessel (REV) will be fitted with laboratories, an auditorium, a crane, two helipads, and the capacity to carry as many as 60 scientists and a crew of 40 people.
It has been reported that yacht will have three function: The first as a research vessel for scientists and explorers, recreation the second as inspiration for Røkke and his family, and the third will be for private charter, for individuals, companies, and institutions.
The hope is that this last function will generate research funds.
Since 2006, Røkke has been working with Aker BioMarine and Nina Jensen, a Norwegian marine biologist and secretary general of the WWF to develop an environmentally certified krill fisheries operation in the Southern Ocean.
The inspiration for this project derives from an evolving understanding of overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, climate change, ocean acidification, and plasticisation.