Ponant’s “Le Commandant-Charcot” enters the final straight of its contruction

Ponant: Le Commandant-Charcot enters the final straight of its contruction (July 2020)Le Commandant-Charcot, PONANT’s forthcoming hybrid electric-LNG (liquefied natural gas) polar exploration vessel, has arrived in Saint-Nazaire to be fitted with its propulsion systems.

After being fitted out in the Norwegian shipyard of the Vard company in Soviknes, Le Commandant-Charcot arrived on Tuesday 21 July in Saint-Nazaire, to be placed in the Joubert dry dock. The work to fit the propulsion systems has been entrusted to the naval department of Eiffage Energie Systemes-Clemessy Services.

The two Azipod°ABB (Azimuthing electric podded drive) propulsors, which had been delivered in advance to the shipyard, are the electric motors driving five propeller blades, with the entire structure able to pivot 360°. They provide propulsion in all directions thus offering great manoeuvrability, particularly in the extreme polar regions where the ship will sail.

In parallel with this fitting work, the ship’s hull will also be painted. Le Commandant-Charcot will then return to the Soviknes shipyard, where the fitting out will be completed, before delivery scheduled for 2021.

Equipped with 135 staterooms, Le Commandant-Charcot will be the first polar exploration vessel operating on a hybrid electric LNG system. This major innovation is testimony to the company’s solid commitment to sustainable tourism with a minimal environmental impact.

PONANT has decided to make Le Commandant-Charcot available to the scientific community. As a “ship of opportunity,” it will be fitted out with infrastructure (laboratories, staterooms) and materials at the disposal of scientists. In this way it will offer a unique platform for observation, research and analysis of the water, air, ice and biodiversity in these extreme polar regions.

With Le Commandant-Charcot, PONANT continues to consolidate its polar expertise, drawing on 20 years of experience, and remaining loyal to its philosophy. It will allow the company to maintain reasoned activity, in compliance with its commitments to the IAATO, AECO and Cercle Polaire associations, with unique landing protocols and itineraries to preserved sites that are only accessible to limited capacity vessels.



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