Major China order for South Shields marine firm

The launch ceremony for the Xue Long
The launch ceremony for the Xue Long

A South Shields-based marine equipment company is celebrating a major order from China

Solar Solve Marine have just dispatched a batch their Type Approved roller sunscreens - inclding five which are electrically powered - to be installed on the navigation bridge area of China’s first home-built polar icebreaker

The blinds will protect the crew from sun and ice glare, infra red heat and cold air.

Named Xue long 2 - or Snow Dragon 2 - the ship is China’s first domestically built conventionally-powered polar icebreaker.

The vessel is expected to be operationally deployed in the next few months.

It will have an operational range of around 20,000 nautical miles, can accommodate a crew of 90, travel at 15 knots and be capable of breaking through ice up to 1.5 meters thick at a top speed of 3 knots.

It will be equipped with advanced oceanographic survey and monitoring apparatus, enabling experts to carry out research into polar ice coverage, atmospheric and environmental conditions and seafloor and biological resource surveys.

John Lightfoot, Solar Solve’s chairman said: “Operations Manager Carl Johnson and the team at Solar Solve have been aware of this vessel for three years, when we were asked during the design stage to provide a plan and quotation for the screens that would be required.

“Over that time our China based distributor kept in touch regarding variations even though there was no certainty that Solar Solve’s bid

would be successful”.

He continued, “We were delighted when the official order was received and even more so when we learned how prominent and important the ship is within the Chinese shipbuilding industry.