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Chinese designers build ship for river-ocean transport to further tap potential of Yangtze River

(People's Daily Online)    10:24, August 21, 2018

Five Chinese ship designers born in the 1980s have collaborated to design the country’s first vessel for river-ocean shipping. The dual-use ship completed its maiden voyage this April, according to China Youth Daily.

The ship, named “Jianghai Zhida No.1”, can carry 20,000 tonnes and is able to sail in rivers and the sea. It is the result of almost three years of hard work from the five designers and staff at the Seahead Ship Design and Research Institute, based in east China’s Zhejiang province.

While the design team needed to integrate their experience in designing river ships and sea ships, the most difficult challenge when designing “Jianghai Zhida No.1” was to make sure it could pass under the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.

Since the height of the signal mast must be maintained to ensure the normal function of signal lights and radars installed on it, the signal mast at the top of the ship became the biggest obstacle for passing under the bridge.

The five designers solved the problem by creating a mast consisting of two parts that can bend, and in order to enable normal function of the radars, they removed them from the mast itself, instead installing them on the deck underneath.

Another challenge for the team was to maximize the ship’s capacity. Typically, no ship exceeding 10,000 tonnes is able to pass under the 24-meter-high bridge in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province.

The team adjusted the proportion of high-strength steel and optimized the dimensions and the layout of ship cabins, so that it could pass under the bridge safely while weighing 20,000 tonnes.

The ship completed trials this February and its maiden voyage on April 5. The trip is 20 percent faster than it used to be by transit ship. Moreover, the cost of the dual-use ship is 10 percent lower than a sea ship, the capacity is 13 percent higher, and the energy consumption is 12 percent lower.

While the oldest designer is only 32 years old, all team members are experienced in ship designing and play leading roles in their field, said Xu Shengwei, Vice Director of the Seahead Ship Design and Research Institute.

Their next goal is to sail the ship to Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, which lies in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, with shallower water, narrower channels and lower bridges.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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