Danish design behind Australian icebreaker
The Australian government has provided project pictures and description of Australia's new icebreaker. It shows a modern, sophisticated ship that will offer scientists unprecedented and expanded access to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. The vessel was designed by Knud E. Hansen and will be built by Damen in Holland
The new ship is faster, has improved ice breaking capacity, greater load capacity and is able to conduct critical research in the areas of sea ice longer than the aging icebreaker Aurora Australis, which has been in operation since 1989.
The new design, which was unveiled in Hobart on Thursday shows a ship that is nearly twice as large as Aurora. It is expected to be central to the Australian Antarctic program until mid-century. The icebreaker will also act as a support to other government departments, if the need arises.
The new 156-meter-long, 23,800 ton vessel will have increased freight and research capacity, but it is likely to bring about the same number of passengers as the Aurora Australis. The ship will be able to break its way through 1,65-meters of ice, where Aurora can only clear 1,23 meters.
DMS Maritime was the only bidder for the project after P&O withdrew in January, on the grounds that it would mean a long-term investment costs for the tenderer.
The new icebreaker, which will be based in Hobart, is part of a government promise to create jobs and growth in Tasmania. The modern sophisticated icebreaker will provide critical support to Australia's four research stations in and around Antarctica and expand Tasmania's role as the gateway to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
Source: Knud E. Hansen / Maritime Denmark