China's first domestically built polar icebreaker Xuelong 2 [Photo/Liu Shiping (Xinhua)]
China's first domestically built polar icebreaker will begin its maiden voyage in October from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
The voyage for "Xuelong 2," or "Snow Dragon 2," will start during the seventh China Marine Economy Expo, which will run from Oct.14 to 17, according to Li Yuchun, deputy director of Shenzhen planning and natural resources bureau.
The expo will bring together more than 400 enterprises at home and abroad, including around 100 industry leaders or Fortune 500 companies, said Li.
On its maiden voyage, Xuelong 2 will sail for Antarctica together with "Xuelong," the only Chinese icebreaker in service, in the country's 36th research mission to the region, according to a previously announced plan.
The vessel is 122.5 meters long and 22.3 meters wide, with a displacement of 13,996 tonnes and a navigation capability of 20,000 nautical miles.
Xuelong 2 is able to turn quickly and has two-direction icebreaking capabilities with both its bow and stern. It can sail on 60-day expeditions to all regions of the globe, according to Hu Keyi, a technical director of Jiangnan Shipyard Group, the builder of the vessel.
"Xuelong 2 will become a major platform for China's oceanic environmental survey and scientific research in polar regions," said Qin Weijia, a director in charge of polar research with the State Oceanic Administration.