Looking to replace its ageing aid-to-navigation tender, the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) has issued an open invitation to shipbuilders and suppliers to attend a ‘Vessel Replacement Project Industry Day’
The virtual industry day, set for 26 February 10:00 to 13:00 GMT, will allow the shipbuilding industry to assess the requirement, intended timeline and procurement process for replacing the buoy tender NLV Pole Star, which is nearing the end of its service life.
Delivered in 2000 by Ferguson Marine Engineering, NLV Pole Star supports the operation of lighthouses and aids to navigation along the coasts of Scotland and the Isle of Man. Equipped with diesel-electric propulsion, the 51.5-m buoy tender has a service speed of 12 knots.
NLB has set an in-service target date of September 2024 for the replacement vessel, which “will meet the ambitious environmental targets set out in the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Plan, while future-proofing NLB’s ability to deliver its vital safety services over the next 25 years,” said the lighthouse authority. This means being equipped with ‘green’ hybrid energy systems, and upgradeable throughout its service life to accommodate emerging power technologies.
Expectations are that the buoy tender will provide improved seakeeping and heavy-weather performance, allowing for more effective response to wrecks and new navigational dangers, as well as routine operational tasking.
During the virtual industry day, NLB and its technical support partner, Danish naval architectural firm OSK-ShipTech, will provide further information on the procurement including an overview of the required vessel specification, the timeline of the programme from the selection questionnaire to delivery and acceptance, and a summary of the anticipated procurement process, including core requirements.
“This is an important project for the Northern Lighthouse Board as we seek to replace NLV Pole Star after years of sterling service,” said NLB chief executive and senior responsible owner Mike Bullock OBE. “We are keen to welcome interested parties from across the maritime industry to hear about the project and to find out how they can participate,” he added.
Those interested in registering for the virtual industry day should visit SMIevent.com/nlb/