A New Icebreaker
By Jack Burke06 March 2018
GE’s Marine Solutions will provide an integrated marine propulsion system for the Chilean Navy’s new Antarctic icebreaking Polar Class vessel.
It will replace the retired icebreaker to continue the navy’s Antarctic expedition for search and rescue missions, scientific research, logistic support and resupplying bases in the Chilean Antarctic Territory.
The 110-m vessel will have GE’s full marine propulsion system to power and propel the vessel, including diesel-electric propulsion, GE’s International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Tier 3-compliant diesel engine, a complete propulsion shaft line and propeller, a tunnel thruster, SeaLyte dynamic positioning (DP) and vessel automation system.
The GE V250 engine is available in 12- and 16-cylinder vee configurations with continuous power ratings from 2175 to 4240 kW. GE said its marine IMO Tier 3 diesel engine reduces key emissions up to 70% and enables in-engine compliance with IMO Tier 3 emissions standards. It also provides a significantly less complex solution compared to urea-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, as it does not require any additional onboard SCR equipment or storage provisions for urea as well as no dockside support infrastructure for urea storage and processing.
The vessel has received Lloyd’s Register PC 5 polar class notation, reflecting the strong icebreaking capability of the vessel. In fact, with an installed power of 14.5 MW, it will be capable of breaking 1 M of ice at 3 knots.
“The ice-going capabilities require the machinery onboard the vessel, such as the main propulsion, to be highly robust to ensure the safety and the survivability of the vessel. That is not all. Given the vessel’s specific mission profile, we are also looking for clean propulsion technology that will meet the requirement of the highly stringent environment regulations in the Antarctic area. GE’s one-stop solution is the answer to all these challenges,” said Lt. Commander Jorge Maldonado, project manager for the Chilean Navy.
“This project is a prime example that demonstrates the value of a full-system solution. GE will be responsible for manufacturing and procuring all equipment and integrating it into a system to achieve improved reliability, de-risking the project. Our cutting-edge clean technology also stands out as a key differentiator to enable a cleaner marine environment, building a vessel that is fit for its mission,” said Andy McKeran, general manager, GE’s Marine Solutions.