Guangzhou firm builds world’s first ice class con­den­sate oil tanker

Global Times - - TOPNEWS - By Xu Hailin

The world’s first Arc 7 ice class con­den­sate oil tanker built by China, which can in­de­pen­dently nav­i­gate in ex­tremely low tem­per­a­tures, will al­low year­round ship­ping in the Arc­tic area, a Chi­nese ob­server said on Wed­nes­day.

Guangzhou Ship­yard In­ter­na­tional Com­pany Ltd (GSI) has con­structed a 44,500 dead­weight-ton con­den­sate oil tanker, which is de­signed for tem­per­a­tures as low as -50 C and in­de­pen­dent sail­ing in ice less than 1.8 me­ters thick, Guangzhou Daily re­ported.

The ship uses no rud­ders but two na­celles, which are the largest of its type in the world, to steer mo­tion. Ro­tat­ing 360 de­grees, the na­celles al­low the ship to break ice with spe­cial blades in­stalled when keep­ing a nav­i­ga­tional speed faster than 3.7 kilo­me­ters per hour.

First of its kind in the in­dus­try, the tanker, Boris Sokolov, is the third ship built by GSI for the Ya­mal liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas project, Guangzhou-based In­for­ma­tion Times re­ported.

GSI pro­vided the project with two work­ing ships in 2016. They are the only ones that can dock at Rus­sia’s Sa­betta port in win­ter, where the project is lo­cated, said the re­port.

It is a leap for­ward for China’s ship­build­ing in­dus­try that is catch­ing up with the world’s lead­ers like South Korea and Ja­pan, Zhang Xia, di­rec­tor of the Shang­hai-based Po­lar Strat­egy Cen­ter at the Po­lar Re­search In­sti­tute of China, told the Global Times on Wen­des­day.

Trade and co­op­er­a­tion with the Po­lar Silk Road coun­tries will be a fu­ture growth area for China. Ad­vanced equip­ment would help the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment, Zhang said.

The Po­lar Silk Road is a ship­ping route that passes through the Arc­tic Cir­cle and con­nects North Amer­ica, East Asia and Western Europe, ac­cord­ing to a blue pa­per jointly re­leased by Bei­jing-based So­cial Sciences Aca­demic Press and Qing­daobased Ocean Univer­sity of China in Novem­ber.

It will help China save trans­porta­tion fees of up to $127 bil­lion a year if the route be­comes fully op­er­a­tional, the blue pa­per said. “The new ship would change the sit­u­a­tion and al­low the trans­port of oil in win­ter,” said Zhou Xuhui, GSI Vice Gen­eral Man­ager.

Zhang told the Global Times that Arc­tic ship­ping routes have only lim­ited use due to the re­gion’s ex­treme cli­mate con­di­tions and the ice­break­ing re­quire­ments of ships.

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