AUGUST 4, 2015 — After a renovation that will extend her life by 20 years, the French scientific research vessel Marion Dufresne II is now sailing for the Port of La Réunion to resume her mission. The multi-purpose vessel owned by French administration "Les Terres australes et antarctiques françaises" (TAAF) and managed by CMA CGM, supplies French southern islands four months a year, and carries out oceanographic research 217 days per year.
The renovation work was carried out at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion) in northern France and was completed on schedule with the vessel leaving the shipyard on July 28, following sea trials.
"The excellent cooperation between the shipyard and the vessel's crew was important in this project's successful planning, coordination and execution," said Khalil Benjelloul Head of Marketing & Sales at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque. "We rebuilt a large part of the vessel within four months to extend her life by 20 years. The client was satisfied with our performance, cooperation and the end result."
Summarizing the yard's work scope, Mr. Benjelloul said: "We replaced the vessel's most important scientific apparatus, the multi-beam sonar. We scrapped the existing equipment, rebuilt the hull and installed a new gondola and control room. Furthermore we completely renewed the ILOT capstan, a system used to take sea water samples, and installed new equipment. The hull has been blasted and repainted as well as some of the ballast tanks. The vessel's accommodation areas have been redone in cooperation with the client's subcontractor, this included laboratory facilities used by IPEV scientists. Marion Dufresne II can accommodate 114 passengers or scientific researchers and 46 crew."
The client selected Damen Shiprepair & Conversion following a competitive tendering process. After careful consideration of the vessel's requirements, Damen decided to have the Dunkirk yard in northern France undertake the project.