Author: Priyanka Ann Saini Australia’s new icebreaker, Nella Dan II is being built at Damen Shipyard Galati in Romania.The first building block of Australia’s new icebreaker was welded into place at a keel laying ceremony last month in Romania. The concept and tender design of the vessel was done by Knud E. Hansen. Unique to the vessel is a hybrid propulsion system to provide both the high power needed for icebreaking and silent running for science operations. Sensitive acoustic instruments are mounted on dual drop keels and multi-beam bathymetric sonars will enable sea floor mapping. Flexible and modular science laboratories will provide scientists with diverse facilities.Managing Director, Mr. Finn Wollesen attended the ceremony, along with Mr. Rasmus Nygaard from Friends of Nella Dan. They came bearing a Danish coin, depicting the Danish Crown Prince Frederik, and his wife – Princess Mary, who originates from Australia. According to maritime tradition, attaching the coins to the keel will bring fair winds, speed, and good luck.Image Courtesy: Knud E. HansenCoins from Romania, Holland, Denmark and Australia sit alongside in recognition of each countries contribution to the design and construction of the ship.Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker, due to arrive in Hobart in 2020, will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations.