MacGregor deck handling solution supports China’s Xue Long 2 icebreaker operation
The two polar icebreakers, _Xue Long (Snow Dragon)_ and _Xue Long 2_, are working together for the first time during China’s 36th Antarctic expedition, with _Xue Long 2_ also being the first domestically built icebreaker, the company said in its release.
_Xue Long 2 _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 delivered to the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) in July 2019. _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 the world’s first icebreaker capable of cutting through ice whilst moving forward or backwards, with this capability and advanced installed equipment significantly improving polar region research capabilities. The 36th Antarctic expedition involves 413 scientists, researchers and support staff, with _Xue Long 2_ working from China’s research stations in Antarctica and South Africa to support scientific operations being undertaken by the expedition team.
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. 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 maximise the icebreaker’s operational availability.
MacGregor is part of Cargotec. Cargotec's sales in 2018 totalled approximately EUR 3.3 billion and it employs around 12,000 people worldwide.