Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Thursday inaugurated a new scientific research vessel called “Najil,” during a ceremony at Jubail Commercial Port in the Eastern Province. The ship is equipped with the latest marine technology to carry out research work in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, and its crew’s responsibilities will include assessing fish stocks and studying the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems.
Al-Falih, who is also chairman of the board of directors of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their generous backing of the Saudi research and development sector.
The vessel will support scientific research being conducted by KACST on the Kingdom’s seas, Al-Falih said. “It also enables the Saudi universities, as well as national and international firms, to carry out maritime research throughout the year.
“KACST seeks to build national capabilities and skills in the field of maritime research, while maintaining maritime biodiversity in the Kingdom,” he added.
Contained within the ship’s five internal levels are two dry and wet laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, scientific equipment for monitoring weather and wave movements and for deep-sea sampling, plus technology to scan and map the seabed.