VESSEL REVIEW | Xiangyanghong 31 – Buoy transport ship for Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources

VESSEL REVIEW | Xiangyanghong 31 – Buoy transport ship for Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources

Photo: CCS

Chinese shipbuilder the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group recently delivered a new research vessel to the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources.

Xiangyanghong 31 has an LOA of 89 metres, a beam of 18 metres, and a displacement of 3,950 tonnes. The hull is reinforced in compliance to ice class B2 standards with low-temperature, high-strength steel.

The propulsion includes two sets of electrically-driven, azimuthing pod thrusters that provide enhanced manoeuvrability as well as allow the vessel to sail for up to 10,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 16 knots.

The engine room also includes features that can reduce noise and vibration that could otherwise adversely affect scientific activities being performed on board. The wheelhouse offers full 360-degree visibility so that operations on the massive aft deck can be directly supervised by the bridge crew for greater safety.

Photo: CCS

The vessel can stay out at sea for a maximum of 60 days, allowing its embarked scientific staff to carry out as many research-related activities as possible on each trip. A DP2 system works in conjunction with the bow thruster to ensure adequate station keeping even in rough offshore sea conditions.

Xiangyanghong 31 has a secondary seabed survey function, though the vessel will be used primarily for the transport, deployment, monitoring, and recovery of offshore buoys that collect and process data on various marine environmental parameters such as wind speed, temperature, air pressure, and wave measurements.

It is one of the first Chinese purpose-built research vessels to be tasked with all-weather buoy deployment and recovery in the South China Sea. For this role, it is fitted with a stern-mounted A-frame and an anti-sway device that can lift 10-metre-long buoys, unmanned vehicles, and other equipment used in underwater surveys.

The vessel will operate as part of a larger scientific expedition fleet that also includes other Chinese-operated ships. Together, these vessels will support the construction, operation, and maintenance of a comprehensive marine observation network to permit early warning of potentially damaging weather disturbances such as tsunamis.

Design work on Xiangyanghong 31 was provided by the 701 Research Institute of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) in compliance with China Classification Society (CCS) rules.

Click here for more news stories, features, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on the research and training sector.

Xiangyanghong 31
Type of vessel: Buoy transport and recovery vessel
Classification: China Classification Society; ice class B2
Flag: China
Owner: Ministry of Natural Resources, China
Designer: 701 Research Institute, China
Builder: Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, China
Hull construction material: Steel
Length overall: 89 metres
Beam: 18 metres
Displacement: 3,950 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 x azimuthing pod thrusters
Cruising speed: 16 knots
Range: 10,000 nautical miles
Dynamic positioning: DP2
Other deck equipment: A-frame; anti-sway buoy lifting device
Operational area: South China Sea

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