A plan has been organized by State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China, Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA) and the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) to build an advanced new icebreaking research vessel to meet the increased need of polar scientific research.
The new vessel will be equipped with advanced scientific equipment for polar oceans research. The integrated survey systems include marine geological and geophysical equipment, marine biological and ecological instruments. Meanwhile, helicopters with associated systems will also be provided.
For the integrated environmental science programs the vessel will have marine and atmospheric observing and sampling capabilities closely related with climate change monitoring. The marine geological and geophysical capabilities will give possibilities for seasonal polar marine geology, marine gravity, magnetic and seismic surveys. For marine biological and ecological programs the vessel will enable marine organism and ecological surveys and acts as a biological research platform. The vessel may be used also for the Antarctic station supplies logistic tasks undertaking some of M/V Xuelong’s mission especially in the heavy sea ice condition.
Aker Arctic has been selected to perform the conceptual and basic design of the new Polar Research Vessel for China. This is already the second governmental icebreaker project in a short time for Aker Arctic and thus a proof of the increasing interest in the Arctic areas and the need for reliable and efficient vessels. The value of the signed contract exceeds 5 Million euros.
“After sustained effort, the State OceanicAdministration (SOA) and the Aker Arctic Technology Inc., agree with all the basic design requirements of the new Polar Research Vessel of China and sign the Contract today. This contract is very important for solving the increasing needs of polar scientific research. As the first polar scientific research icebreaker for China, its successful design and build will not only push forward our polar scientific research career by achieving more successes, but also will make great development on Chinese ship construction industry“, says Mr.Qu Tanzhou, Director General, Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration of State Oeananic Administration.
“The award is a significant milestone for the Finnish icebreaker design and construction expertise”, says Mikko Niini, Managing Director of Aker Arctic Technology Inc, the specialist ship design and R & D company in Finland. “Working currently already for the Canadian John F. Diefenbaker polar icebreaker, this contract in China is a clear evidence of our global role in the development of advanced Arctic technologies and solutions.”
The polar research icebreaker for China will be designed to accommodate a total of 90 persons and will have a length over all of about 120 meters, a maximum breadth of 22,3 m and draught of 8,5 m. The vessel will have the ability to break through 1,5 m of level ice at 2 to 3 knots speed, including multi-year ice. The vessel will be fitted with twin azimuthing propeller drives. Ice class will be PC3 and the vessel will have dual classification from China Classification Society (CCS) and Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR).
The design time is expected to take 7 months to complete. The design package will then be provided to a design company or yard, which are to be in charge of the detailed design and workshop drawings of the vessel.
World Maritime News Staff, July 31, 2012; Image: AkerArctic