Shanghai Municipal Government

09/11/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/10/2018 18:48

1st domestic icebreaker launched

A ceremony takes place as icebreaker Xuelong 2 leaves the dry dock at Jiangnan Shipyard on Changxing Island in Shanghai yesterday.

Chinas first wholly domestically conceived and built icebreaker Xuelong 2 took to the sea yesterday at Jiangnan Shipyard in Chongming's Changxing Island.

Construction of the vessel began in December 20, 2016.

Xuelong 2 will be put into service in the first half of 2019. It will team up with another icebreaker Xuelong on polar expeditions next year.

The vessel is 122.5 meters in length and 22.3 meters wide, with a draught of 7.85 meters and displacement of 13,990 tons.

Its can reach 15 knots and it has a range of 20,000 nautical miles.

Xuelong 2 can break 1.5-meter ice with a thick covering of snow at speeds of 2 to 3 knots.

Its combines the requirements of a new-generation research vessel with environmental protection having an azimuthing electric propulsion system.

Researchers can make observations of environmental elements like the ocean water, sea ice and polar air from the vessel and take samples from the marine environment in connection with climate change.

Research will also be carried out on submarine topography and living resources there.

'Xuelong 2 will strengthen our capacity in polar research and accelerate construction in polar areas,' said Chen Jianxin, chief builder of the icebreaker.

'It helps lay the foundation for us to build bigger and stronger polar expedition vessels in the future.'

'The next step is to have some further installations and sea trials.' Chen said.

About 90 percent of the important equipment inside has been installed.

Xu Ning, an official with the polar research institute, told Shanghai Daily that the difficulty with Xuelong is that it is not powerful enough to break the thickest of ice in some areas of the Antarctic.

Now Xuelong 2, which with a much greater icebreaking capability, will be able to help solve this problem.