MacGregor deck handling solution supports Chinese icebreaker operation

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Xue Long 2 is China's first domestically produced icebreaker (Image: MacGregor)

Two Chinese polar icebreakers, Xue Long (Snow Dragon) and Xue Long 2, are working together for the first time during China’s 36th Antarctic expedition,

Xue Long 2 is China’s first domestically built icebreaker. It was jointly designed by Aker Arctic Technology in Helsinki, Finland and the Marine Design and Research Institute of China (MARIC) in Shanghai, China. Construction began in 2016 at the China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, with the vessel being delivered to the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) in July 2019.

A MacGregor project team has been involved in the Xue Long 2 project from the very early stage back in 2011, working collaboratively with the PRIC project team and MARIC to develop different technical solutions required to enable deck handling equipment to operate effectively at temperatures of minus 45 degrees centigrade.

Xue Long 2 is a Polar Class 3 vessel, measuring 122.5 meters long and 22.3 meters wide with a displacement of 13,996 tonnes and a navigation capability of 20,000 nm. She is capable of cutting through ice while moving forward or backwards, with this capability and advanced installed equipment significantly improving polar region research capabilities.

MacGregor’s deck handling solution and scope of supply for Xue Long 2 comprises three offshore cranes, the research equipment deck handling systems, oceanographic winches, deck machinery and hatch covers.

Spare parts and service support will also be provided to maximize the icebreaker’s operational availability.

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