The Polar Research Institute of China has ordered a new 14,300gt polar research vessel. Designed by Aker Arctic Finland, it will be the first vessel of its type to be built in China, though a shipyard has yet to be named.
The 122.5-meter multifunctional icebreaker will be able to handle ice up to 1.5 meters thick, achieving a continuous icebreaking speed of two to three knots. It will have an endurance of 20,000 nautical miles and with a full 90-person crew, it will be able to cruise for 60 days without resupply.
MacGregor, part of Cargotec, said it has won an order to supply MacGregor offshore cranes and a Triplex handling system for the new vessel.
The vessel will feature two MacGregor offshore cranes: a 50-metric-ton SWL telescopic crane with a 15-meter outreach and a 24-metric-ton SWL knuckle jib crane with a 12-meter outreach. It will also be fitted with a MacGregor Triplex six-metric-ton SWL telescopic/knuckle jib crane with a 17-meter outreach and a handling system specifically designed for research equipment. The handling system comprises: a 30-metric-ton SWL stern-mounted A-frame; a five-metric-ton SWL multifunctional launch-and-recovery overhead crane for conductivity, temperature and depth (CTD) oceanographic instrumentation; and a piston coring system that includes an eight-tonne SWL corer pipe handler, a 23-meter corer pipe cradle and a 25-metric-ton SWL side-mounted A-frame.
With the exception of the cranes, all MacGregor equipment will be served by a common central hydraulic system driven by one hydraulic power unit. MacGregor deliveries are scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.
According to William Storvik, Shiptype Group Sales Manager, MacGregor Offshore Deck Machinery, the company’s ability to deliver tailor-made equipment packages with good performance in low temperature operations was key to winning this contract. “MacGregor products have a proven track record of performance in extreme environments, which makes them ideal for this type of vessel,” Storvik said.
Terry Onn, Senior Shiptype Sales Manager, MacGregor Offshore Deck Machinery, added that the owner is keen to work with MacGregor on global lifecycle support for the new vessel.
Yuan Shao Hong, Director of Engineering and Secretary of the Polar Research Institute of China's party committee said at the contract signing, “We are delighted to work together with a world-leading equipment manufacturer like MacGregor to build and deliver one of the best 'green' polar research icebreakers, providing the Chinese, as well as global scientists, a good polar research platform and contributing to the world polar research development.”
The Polar Research Institute of China, established in 1989, is a public welfare institution reporting to China's State Oceanic Administration. The new vessel will join its existing 1993-delivered icebreaker, Xue Long, which operates in research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic.