Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih launched on Thursday the scientific research vessel, called “Najil,” at Jubail Commercial Port in the Eastern Province. The vessel is designed to carry out scientific research in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea in various marine disciplines as well as to conduct fishery stock assessment and study climate changes in different marine ecosystems.
Speaking on the occasion, Al-Falih thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, for generously supporting the Saudi research and development sector.
Al-Falih, who is also the chairman of the Board of Directors of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), said that the vessel supports the scientific research conducted by KACST on the Kingdom’s seawaters. It also enables the Saudi universities as well as national and international firms to carry out maritime research throughout the year in order to search for scientific and practical findings. “The vessel helps fisheries operators evaluate fish stocks and rationalize their investment in addition to monitoring the marine ecosystems and acquaint themselves with marine bio system. KACST seeks to build national capabilities and skills in the field of maritime research and to maintain maritime biodiversity in the Kingdom,” Al-Falih added.
The five- story vessel has two dry and wet labs with state-of-the-art equipment, scientific devices for weather and wave monitoring and deep-sea sampling, and a special apparatus for seafloor scanning and mapping. It has the capacity to accommodate 24 scientific researchers in addition to the technical crew.