China orders polar icebreaker design

06 Aug 2012
Rendering by Aker Arctic of its proposal for China's first polar reserach icebreaker

Rendering by Aker Arctic of its proposal for China's first polar reserach icebreaker

Aker Arctic has been contracted to carry out a conceptual and basic design exercise for a new icebreaking research vessel to be used by various Chinese bodies for the purpose of polar scientific research.

The icebreaker will be designed to accommodate a total of 90 persons and will have a length oa of about 120ms, a maximum breadth of 22.3m and draught of 8.5m. The vessel will have the ability to break through 1.5m of level ice at 2 to 3 knots speed, including multi-year ice. It will be equipped with twin azimuthing propeller drives. It will have dual classification from China Classification Society and Lloyds Register of Shipping to ice class PC3.

The design is expected to take seven months for the Finnish specialist design company to realise, after which the design package will be passed to a design company or yard, for detailed design and workshop drawings to be completed.

The design is being produced on behalf of the Chinese State Oceanic Administration, Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration and the Polar Research Institute of China, and the contract is worth over €5 million. The new vessel will be equipped with integrated survey systems including marine geological and geophysical equipment, and marine biological and ecological instruments, and will be equipped to carry helicopters with associated systems. The ship’s marine and atmospheric observation and sampling capabilities will allow it to carry out climate change monitoring, while its marine geological and geophysical capabilities will enable seasonal polar marine geology, plus marine gravity, magnetic and seismic surveys. Other duties will include marine biological and ecological programs, for which the vessel will undertake marine organism and ecological surveys, and act as a biological research platform. The vessel may also be used for Antarctic station supply logistic tasks in heavy sea ice conditions.

Aker Arctic says that this is its second governmental icebreaker project in a short time, an indication of increasing interest in the Arctic areas and the need for reliable and efficient vessels.

“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", said Qu Tanzhou, director general, Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration of State Oeananic Administration.

“The award is a significant milestone for Finnish icebreaker design and construction expertise”, says Mikko Niini, managing director of Aker Arctic Technology. “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.”

Links to related companies and recent articles ...