On Saturday 14 March the famous research vessel «Marion-Dufresne-
II» arrived at the DAMEN ship repair yard in Dunkirk for an upgrade of
its scientific instruments and a major overhaul of its hull and engines.
Owned by CMA CGM and chartered by the French Southern and Antarctic
Territories (TAAF), the «Marion-Dufresne-II» is one of the jewels of the French
oceanographic fleet. Built in Le Havre in 1995, 120.50 metres long and with
a draught of 6.95 metres, this ship has a crew of 50 and can carry up to
110 passengers. Boasting 650 m? of laboratory space, a multi-beam echo
sounder, a sediment corer and winching systems, the «Marion-Dufresne-II»
conducts oceanographic research under the auspices of the Institut Polaire
Paul-Emile Victor and provides logistics services in the French Sub-Antarctic
islands under the responsibility of the French Southern and Antarctic
Territories (carrying residents and visitors to the Southern Territories, carrying
personnel to and from the bases, transporting containers and heavy lifts,
etc). This extremely versatile ship is also a helicopter carrier and a tanker.
The project awarded to DAMEN shipyards is impressive and will take four
months. It will include modification of the propulsion system, installation of
a new system for monitoring and control of the engines, upgrading of the
navigational instruments, and modernisation of the scientific equipment.
The makeover will extend the service life of the «Marion-Dufresne-II» by
some 20 years.
This contract demonstrates the know-how and versatility of the DAMEN
shipyard and its staff of 160. Equipped with two dry docks, the largest of
which can accommodate Capesize ships with 180,000 t deadweight tonnage,
the yard also has a floating dock to berth the largest ferries in service
and 650 metres of repair quays, as well as 22,000 m? of modern workshops.