In a significant stride towards enhancing maritime security and rescue capabilities, Norwegian shipbuilder Harstad Mek Verksted (Hamek) has been granted a pivotal contract for the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the Norwegian Coast Guard’s versatile Ulstein UT 512 salvage and rescue tug, the NoCGV Harstad (W 318). This undertaking, valued at NOK 235 million (USD 22 million), was officially disclosed by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence on August 21st. Harstad Mek. Verksted AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harstad Skipsindustri AS, stands as the region’s most substantial service center for the maritime sector. The scope of Harstad Mek. The enterprise currently operates from two facilities located in Harstad, boasting a total of four drop-off points, of which two are sheltered. Notably, the company lays claim to Northern Norway’s largest dry dock, fortified crane capacity, and excellent quay and mooring provisions.
The NoCGV Harstad represents a purpose-built offshore patrol vessel, meticulously designed by Rolls-Royce and brought to life by Aker Yards (subsequently recognized as STX and VARD). Serving the Norwegian Coast Guard since 2005, initially on lease from Remøy Shipping before acquisition in 2008, this vessel boasts an anticipated operational span of 30 years.The vessel assumes a pivotal role in diverse coastguard and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) management capacities, encompassing offshore search and rescue, firefighting, salvage operations, pollution abatement, general law enforcement, and fishery control. Notably, the NoCGV Harstad supports the refueling needs of remote outposts on Jan Mayen, Bjørnøya (Bear Island), and Hopen.In situations of crisis, the vessel exhibits its capability to tow sizable oil tankers while retaining the capacity to recover up to 12,000 m3 of oil post-spill.
Further amplifying its significance, the NoCGV Harstad is primed to operate the NATO Submarine Rescue System along with remotely controlled vehicles, showcasing its adaptability and readiness across a spectrum of exigencies.The recently granted contract for the mid-life upgrade not only underscores the trust vested in Harstad Mek. Verksted but also signifies the Norwegian government’s steadfast commitment to fortifying its maritime security and rescue infrastructure. As maritime activities continue to expand, embracing cutting-edge enhancements becomes a necessity, and this contract stands as a testament to Norway’s proactive approach in safeguarding its waters and shores. With this strategic move, the nation takes a definitive step toward reinforcing its ability to manage maritime emergencies and safety effectively, thereby setting a commendable precedent for other maritime entities worldwide.