Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque has started the four-month refurbishment programme of the French research vessel Marion Dufresne II at its Dunkirk yard in northern France.
Owned by Les Terres australes et antarctiques français (TAAF), this multi-purpose vessel carries out oceanographic research under the Institut Polaire Paul-Eimile Victor (IPEV). It is managed by CMA CGM.
Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque sales and marketing head Khalil Benjelloul said: "One of the major parts of the work will be the replacement of the vessel’s multi-beam sonar.
"For this we will scrap the existing equipment, rebuild the ship’s hull and install a new gondola and control room."
This complete renovation project is expected to extend the vessels’ life by 20 years.
"Additionally, we will change the ILOT capstan, a system used to take samples, which involves a lot of access work, install a new sewage tank, modify the air-conditioning system and renew the A-frames," Benjelloul added.
Damen will also be responsible for blasting and repainting the hull and some of the vessel’s ballast tanks.
In addition, accommodation facilities will receive renovation, which the yard will carry out in cooperation with the client’s subcontractor.
Marion Dufresne II has a capacity to accommodate 104 scientific researchers and 46 crew members. The accommodation areas also include laboratory facilities used by IPEV scientists.
Image: Refurbishment will extend the life of the Marion Dufresne II research vessel. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.