SCF Group (Sovcomflot) and Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. Ltd. (Sakhalin Energy) have signed a contract for the construction and long-term operation of three multifunctional icebreaking standby vessels to serve the Sakhalin-2 offshore energy platforms.
The contract covers a 20-year term, during which the vessels will provide safe and reliable services for Sakhalin Energy’s platforms in the Sea of Okhotsk. The vessels will also assist with accommodation of the offshore facilities personnel. In an emergency, the vessels will help evacuate personnel from the offshore platforms and will provide oil spill response services when necessary.
The new contract is a continuation of the first agreement between Sovcomflot and Sakhalin Energy, signed during April 2014, for the construction of an ice breaking supply vessel (IBSV) and other memoranda of understanding between the two companies. This agreement means that SCF Group will have four IBSV vessels of this type under construction. When completed, the new vessels will increase the group’s IBSV fleet to eight.
One of the main functions of the new IBSV standby vessels will be their on-call duty in the platform area, to provide instant readiness for responding to emergency situations with the possibility of carrying an additional 150 persons onboard during evacuations.
The vessels of the series are the most energy efficient, in terms of their diesel consumption and propulsion systems. Their hulls are specially designed for stern-first navigation in icy conditions. The new standby ISBVs are equipped with dynamic positioning systems, which help them maintain a stable position alongside offshore platforms. The ice class is enhanced from Ice10 to Ice15, which will ensure the safe navigation in one year solid ice of up to 1.5m thick, at a speed of 3knots, and to keep working independently without becoming trapped in ice ridges of up to 4m thick.
The construction of these modern vessels is a joint project involving Russian and Finnish shipbuilders. The shipbuilding contract has been signed with the Russian company OAO USC. Around 90% of the structural components for the vessels are to be produced in Russia, at the Vyborg Shipyard (part of OAO USC). The vessels will be equipped with navigation systems from the Russian manufacturer Transas, as well as Glonass satellite navigation systems. The ships will be registered in Russia, will be manned by Russian crews and will sail under the Russian Federation flag.
The vessels are designed in accordance with all the prevailing regulations, standards and requirements of the relevant international conventions and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.
Currently Sakhalin-2 employs six Sovcomflot vessels, including three Aframax type shuttle tankers, two LNG gas carriers and one IBSV.
Sakhalin Energy is the Sakhalin II project operator. Its shareholders are: Gazprom Sakhalin Holdings BV (50% plus one share); Shell Sakhalin Holdings BV (27.5% minus one share); Mitsui Sakhalin Holdings BV (12.5%); Mitsubishi Corp. subsidiary Diamond Gas Sakhalin BV (10%).