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Bidding to start on new polar research ship construction

By Lu Haoting (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2016-03-10 11:02:55


Bidding to start on new polar research ship construction

The Xue Long (Snow Dragon) icebreaker carrying Chinese scientists during their 29th expedition to South Pole is pictured after leaving Nansha Port in Guangzhou city, south China's Guangdong province, November 5, 2012. [Photo/IC]

Bidding for construction of China's second polar research ship will start by the end of April and the new vessel will boast stronger icebreaking capabilities, said a senior official with one of the country's largest shipbuilders.

The estimated total budget for the ship will be more than 1 billion yuan and construction is expected to take about two years, said Hu Keyi, technical director of Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co Ltd.

Hu, also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks on the sidelines of the CPPCC annual meeting on Wednesday.

Xue Long is the only Chinese icebreaking research ship in service. Built in Ukraine in 1993, the ship was converted from an Arctic cargo ship to a polar research and re-supply vessel by China in the mid 1990s.

The ship has undergone four conversions and two were carried out by Jiangnan Shipyard.

The new vessel is designed in accordance with special polar research and supply requirements, Hu said.

"It is tailor made and will boast stronger research capabilities and be more comfortable and environmentally friendly," Hu said.

A number of Chinese shipbuilders will join the bidding process.