Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke’s humble beginnings go back to the days when he was just a fisherman.  Eventually he moved to Offshore Drilling and has ever since built an Empire.

Røkke, who’s worth around $2.6 billion, owns almost 67 percent of shipping and offshore drilling conglomerate Aker ASA.

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But now, Røkke has decided to give something back to the environment with a gigantic yacht for marine research.

He has commisioned a 595-foot Research Expedition Vessel (REV) to be built by VARD and designed by superyacht designer Espen Oeino.

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Scientists and marine researchers shall be working in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Norway, who will manage the ship. Aboard, scientists will have access to laboratory space, sea and air drones, an auditorium, two helipads, and an autonomous underwater vehicle. It is expected to be fully operational by 2020.

The crew shall also include 60 scientists and 40 crew members.

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According to Yacht Harbour, the REV will be largest yacht in the world … a title which is currently held by the 592-foot Azzam yacht ( which is rumoured to be owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family).

“I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned. This ship is a part of it…sea covers 70 percent of Earth’s surface and much is not researched.” said Røkke to Oslo’s Aftenposen.

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He has also granted WWF Norway total independence over the REV’s mission. WWF Norway Secretary General Nina Jensen expressed that they shall always disagree on Oil Drilling, “but in this project we will meet to collectively make a big difference in the environmental struggle.”

 

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