7 June – Tamhae 3

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > Ship of the Week > 7 June – Tamhae 3

On May 31st, 2024, Korea’s first domestically built geophysical exploration research vehicle was commissioned. The Tamhae 3 took eight years to complete, and it is estimated that over $130 million were invested by the government to build and outfit the ship. Jointly designed by Norway’s Ulstein Design and Korea’s HJ Heavy Industries, this ship was built to conduct a range of exploration as well as research projects in both domestic waters and internationally.

The Tamhae 3 employs Ulstein’s patented X-Bow and weighs just under 7,000 tons. Measuring in at roughly 300 feet (92 meters), this ship has accommodation for a 50-person crew. At a speed of 15 knots, this vessel has an operating range of about 20,000 nautical miles and is equipped with both side thrusters and a dynamic positioning system.

With 3D and 4D marine exploration capabilities and the ability to deploy up to eight seismic steamers, each nearly four miles long, this vessel’s research facilities are designed to explore the continental shelf and seabed. The Tamhae 3 can also operate in both polar regions, and by replacing the Tamhae 2, South Korea’s research capabilities will expand significantly.

The vessel is destined to be operated by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources. Some of the projects outlined for the ship include analyzing the seafloor for faults, sensing seabed seismic signals, and selecting sites for carbon capture/storage.

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