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The Army will restructure Intermares, a project to which Galician shipyards aspire

They seek to have a second Hespérides – The vessel was built in Armón Vigo in 2009 and has been in stand-by since 2011 – It is currently in Nodosa. 

In 2009 Armón delivered Intermares, a modern vessel with 80 metres in-length that had the aim of serving to nautical-fishing training and cooperation with countries concerned with fishing linked to Spain. Assigned by the General Secretariat of the Sea in its last mandate at the forefront of the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the vessel conducted only a few campaigns before being tied in Ferrol in 2011. Currently, the Army intends to restructure the vessel so that it becomes a second Hesperides, that is, an oceanographic vessel. According to sources consulted, the Galician shipyards would be the best positioned for the project, Armón and Nodosa among them, carrying out maintenance operations at the moment. 

The announcement of the restructuring and new life for Intermares arrives at a time when both Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO) and the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) have bigger difficulties to carry out their corresponding campaigns. In fact, the IEO director, Eduardo Balguerías, had already announced that they were studying the acquisition of a new unit that would replace the Cornide de Saavedra. 

The vessel had an investment of over 22 million euros and was created with the aim of being a unique training-vessel devoted to “fishing training of operations related to extraction and training, through the development of theoretical learning and practical training campaigns”. It has capacity for a maximum of 48 students, 10 teachers and 15 crewmen, therefore having a capacity of around 73 people. 

Reinforcing the hull

Among the necessary tasks for the restructuring of the vessel is reinforcing the hull, so it can sail through the icy waters of Antarctica, just as Hesperides. For that purpose, the vessel would need a higher sheet thickness and the strengthening of the bow area, specially in the bulb. 

Specialized media note that the vessel will also need a deep remodelling of its interior to adapt the scientific equipment and to be the replacement of Las Palmas, which has been carrying out several campaigns since 1978 under its designation A-52. 

It is precisely this kind of designation, used by the Army, the one already visible in Intermares. It is currently in Nodosa shipyard, where they have already asked to replace the name of the boat for A-41. The factory from Marín was awarded this year with a contract for grounding and maintenance of the vessel.

According to some sources from the shipyard, the vessel showed clear symptoms of obsolescence caused by all its years of inaction. They will be focused on blasting and painting the hull, as well as inspecting the engines, cranes and the rest of equipment. This contract, is close to the million euros value.  

Sources from Nodosa explain once the bid for restructuring the vessel is published, they will aim for it, since, as Armon, they already know the ship. Furthermore, Freire Shipyard, the shipyard with the widest experience in oceanographic vessels in the sector, could also aim for it. 

(Source: Faro de Vigo)

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