The world’s first double-acting, shallow-draught ice-breaking vessel, built by the Dutch shipyard Royal Niestern Sander for the Russian companies Mercury Sakhalin and Pola, will be fitted with Finnish Steerprop’s azimuth units as its main propulsion and steering system.
The walk-to-work vessel will operate all year round in harsh ice conditions, transferring service technicians and equipment to and from offshore platforms from Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East.
“The vessel is designed to have maximum icebreaking capacity stern first and is capable of breaking one meter of ice”, says Olli Knihti, Sales Manager at Steerprop. “The vessel will be working in shallow waters, which is a restricting factor for the propulsion system. Thanks to our compact design of the propulsion units, we could offer a solution that fits within the draught limitations.”
The contract includes two Steerprop SP 60 PULL ARC propulsors with an input power of 2200 kW each. They are designed for use in arctic conditions and have multiple layers of redundancies. Also included in the order is the Steerprop propulsion control system and Steerprop Care condition monitoring system, which offers the highest possible reliability, based on enhanced predictability, safety and productivity.
“The vessel is almost 76 meters long and 14 meters wide, and as it conforms to Bureau Veritas’ (BV) icebreaker 5 ice class rules, the propulsors’ ice-breaking power will really be put to the test”, Knihti says. “One specialty with our azimuth solution is the ability to direct the slipstream from the propeller in a full 360 degrees. It means that the propeller race can be used to widen fairways, blow ice ridges or for example free arctic offshore installations from ice.”
The vessel will be delivered in December 2021 and Steerprop’s propulsors will be delivered in June 2021.
“The vessel will be operating in challenging ice and weather conditions where reliability and efficient performance are mandatory”, says Knihti. “Steerprop has a two-decade-long experience in building extra demanding azimuth propulsors, always tailored to the customer’s needs, and we are very pleased to be cooperating with Royal Niestern Sander in this prestigious project.”