Taipei-A new research vessel purchased by the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) will make its maiden voyage in September and conduct research in the South China Sea or the East China Sea, Taiwan Oceanic Research Institute Director Wang Chau-chang said Sunday.
The ship, named the Legend, was purchased from abroad at a cost of NT$870 million (US$29.88 million), and arrived in Taiwan on Jan. 18, according to the institute.
The inspection and acceptance of the ship is set to be completed in late March, after which the final payment of NT$170 million, or about 20 percent of the total, will be paid to Triyards Marine Service, a Vietnam-based Singaporean company, according to Wang.
A launch ceremony for the ship is scheduled for early May, Wang said, and the research vessel will then officially go into service in September following a four-month test run.
The NARLabs is looking to collaborate with international teams on research projects on the vessel, which may sail to the South China Sea or the East China Sea, according to Wang.
The Legend will conduct marine research at sea for about 95-105 days per year, and will be leased out to private groups or used for joint projects by public and private institutions the rest of the time.
The 2,580-ton ship was procured with the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology to strengthen Taiwan's oceanography research capabilities after Taiwan's 2,700-ton research vessel Ocean Researcher V sank in waters off Penghu in 2014.
The ministry also plans to build a 3,000-ton class vessel.
Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council