Dutch shipbuilder Niestern Sander will build the world’s first shallow-draught, icebreaking, walk-to-work multi-purpose vessel for a joint-venture between Russia’s Mercury Sakhalin and Pola
When it is delivered in December 2021, the vessel will be operated by Mercury Sakhalin on the east coast of Sakhalin in the Russian Far East for the oil and gas industry.
Specially designed for year-round operations on the east coast of Sakhalin in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +35 degrees, the offshore vessel will have a shallow draught of 3.15 m, a transit draught of 4.0 m in open waters and a grounded bottom notation, allowing year-round operation.
Utilising an icebreaking hull and pulling azimuth thrusters, the vessel will be able to break through ice up to 100 cm. The motion-compensated gangway on the vessel is optimised for both winter and summer operations, resulting in multiple gangway positions. The vessel will perform year-round crew transfer services for up to 40 persons from the shallow Nabil Port to offshore platforms near the east coast of Sakhalin.
Niestern Sander said Dutch vessel owner Wagenborg Offshore contributed to the project, drawing on its operational experience in shallow waters with icebreaking vessels in the Caspian Sea and its walk-to-work track record in the southern North Sea.
As of November, Wagenborg Offshore had been working with Mercury Sakhalin in Sakhalin with the icebreaking support vessel Arcticaborg; its sister vessel Antarcticaborg, Arcticaborg was built in 1998 by Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki. Specially designed for the ice conditions and shallow waters of the Caspian Sea, the sister vessels can transit forward through 60 cm of ice and astern through 90 cm of ice. The ability to transit astern through thicker ice is made possible by a specially designed hull and the use of two 1,500-kW Azipod thrusters that can grind up ice chunks.
Arcticaborg has an overall length of 65 m, beam of 16.6 m, depth of 4.4 m and maximum summer draught of 2.9 m. It has an open water transit speed of 13 knots and speed of 3 knots through 60 cm of ice.