Damen to Revamp RV Marion Dufresne II


The French research vessel, Marion Dufresne II has arrived at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque for a project that will extend her life by a further twenty years.

The work will span a total of 4 months. On March 30, the vessel went into dry-dock for a 6-week period, during which the yard will carry out an extensive scope of work.

The multi-purpose vessel is owned by Les Terres australes et antarctiques français (TAAF) and managed by CMA CGM. Marion Dufresne II carries out oceanographic research under the responsibility of the Institut Polaire Paul-Eimile Victor (IPEV).

Khalil Benjelloul, Head of Sales & Marketing at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, 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.

“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.”

It’s not only equipment that the yard is refurbishing, however. Marion Dufresne II will also receive a visual overhaul. “We will completely blast and repaint the hull and some of the ballast tanks. Actually, almost the entire vessel will have a fresh look.”

This includes the vessel’s accommodation, which the yard is renewing in cooperation with the client’s subcontractor. Marion Dufresne II has accommodation capacity for 104 scientific researchers and 46 crew. Additionally, the accommodation areas of the vessel include laboratory facilities used by IPEV scientists.


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