China expects to build its new icebreaker before 2016, government officials said, as the veteran Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, remains stuck in Antarctic ice after rescuing 52 passengers from a Russian vessel.
“The new ship will surpass China’s only icebreaker, the Xuelong, in scientific research and ice-breaking ability, greatly improving the country’s polar research capability,” Qu Tanzhou, director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration under the State Oceanic Administration, said on Sunday.
The new icebreaker will be designed mainly for field research, instead of transporting supplies, and it will have a better power system plus larger decks and laboratories, making it a “mobile research station”, Qu said.
The design contract, which cost more than $613 million, was signed with Aker Arctic Technology of Finland in 2012, and it will be built by a Chinese shipyard, the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration said.
Source: China Daily