A Chinese company has ordered an icebreaker that will be the country's first privately owned polar research vessel.

Hadal X will be built by Dutch shipyard Damen Group and owned and operated by Shanghai-based Rainbowfish Ocean Technology, the Xinhua news agency said.

Construction will start in 2018 and the icebreaker will be put into operation in 2021.

The 5,000-gt vessel will be 95 metres long.