STX Marine has been awarded the contract to design the new polar icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. The work will be carried out at STX Canada Marine’s Vancouver office and will be completed by the end of 2013.

The polar icebreaker will be named after former Canadian Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker (CCGS John G. Diefenbaker). It will be able to operate autonomously for 270 days in the Arctic, over a larger area, and in more difficult conditions than any of Canada’s current icebreakers. The new icebreaker will be delivered to coincide with the decommissioning of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in 2017 and will become the Canadian Coast Guard flagship. The polar icebreaker will be designed to accommodate 100 personnel and have the ability to break through 2.5 metres of ice.

STX Marine will be supported in the design project by a team of partners including Aker Arctic Technology, SNC-Lavalin, INDAL Technologies and Noise Control Engineering.  Aker Arctic Technology, part of STX Europe, and STX shipyards have been involved in the design and construction of over 60 per cent of the world’s icebreakers.

The polar icebreaker is one of the vessels included in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) Non-Combat contract awarded to Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards Ltd last year. The vessel will be designed and built in Vancouver.