Photo: Courtesy of JAMSTEC

Japan to get LNG-fueled icebreaker for Arctic research

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) has plans to build Japan’s first research vessel with ice-breaking capabilities to explore the Arctic.

Japan to get LNG-fueled icebreaker for Arctic research
Courtesy of JAMSTEC

The research vessel will be 128 metres long, with a gross tonnage of 13,000. It is planned to feature a dual-fuel engine that can run on both LNG and fuel oil.

The vessel will be able to navigate through 1.2 metres of thick ice, at the speed of 3.0 knots.

The constuction will cost around ¥34 billion ($310 million).

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With this vessel, Japan wants to have for better access to study the Arctic’s climate, environment, and natural resources. JAMSTEC has so far been carrying out Arctic research during summer using the 8,700 gross tonnage research vessel Mirai, which runs on diesel.

“The new Arctic research vessel will play a monumental role as a valuable international research platform to carry out the meteorological observations to understand the current state of the Arctic region which has been resulted in the Japanese climate change as well,” wrote JAMSTEC on its social media.

Argus reports Jamstec will issue a tender for the construction of the new arctic research icebreaker later this month. Bids are expected to be submitted by mid-July before the constuctor is determined in August.

The target is to launch the vessel in 2026.