GE to deliver propulsion system for Chilean Navy Antarctic icebreaker

Chilean ASMAR Shipyards has contracted GE’s Marine Solutions to deliver a complete 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-meter long vessel will receive diesel electric propulsion, GE’s diesel engine, a complete propulsion shaft line and propeller, a tunnel thruster, SeaLyte Dynamic Positioning (DP) and a vessel automation system.

The vessel has received Lloyd’s Register PC 5 polar class notation and with an installed power of 14.5 megawatts, it will be capable of breaking 1 meter 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 Lieutenant Commander Jorge Maldonado, project manager for the Chilean Navy.

As explained by GE, its marine IMO Tier 3 diesel engine reduces key emissions up to 70 percent and provides a less complex solution compared to urea-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, as it does not require any additional on-board SCR equipment or storage provisions for urea as well as no dockside support infrastructure for urea storage and processing.

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