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China's first icebreaker to be completed by end of 2013

10-26-2011 07:15 BJT

TIANJIN, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The construction of China's first domestically manufactured research vessel and icebreaker will be completed by the end of 2013, an official from the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration (CAA) said on Tuesday.

Built with an investment of 1.25 billion yuan (about 196.5 million U.S. dollars), the construction of the icebreaker was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in July and has already begun, said Qu Tanzhou, director of the CAA, at a polar scientific investigation report conference in the city of Tianjin.

The icebreaker will improve China's ability to conduct polar research expeditions, joining the research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon," Qu said.

The CAA will seek a name for the icebreaker in November and announce the name by the end of this year, Qu said.

The Xuelong is scheduled to leave Tianjin on Nov. 3 for a six-month Antarctic expedition, the vessel's 28th voyage since 1984. The vessel will travel with a crew of 172 to conduct scientific research at the bottom of the globe.

China plans to launch five Antarctic research expeditions and three Arctic expeditions between 2011 and 2015, with researchers focusing on monitoring weather and environmental changes in the Earth's polar regions.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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