With construction underway on the first ever Oblique Icebreaker, research specialist Aker Arctic Technology has unveiled a new version of a unique vessel type that will bring ice management and pollution control in thick, first-year ice to a new level.
The first ARC 100 is due for delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport (RMT) in early 2014, after a collaborative build involving Kaliningrad’s OJSC Yantar and Helsinki’s Arctech yards. The resulting newbuild is a breakthrough asymmetric three-thruster conceptual design, which will bring new capability in terminal operations, ice management and oil spill response in freezing seas.
The 76m long vessel, with her oblique, ice-breaking action is a game changer in year-round oil spill response. Additionally, a single Oblique Icebreaker will cut channels through ice for cargo ships to follow as wide as two equivalent conventional icebreakers moving ahead side by side.
Aker Arctic has produced a “Heavy Duty” ARC 100 HD version of the design – a 98m-long by 26m-beam vessel. The vessel will draw on 24,000 kW of engine power and 19,500 kW of propulsion power to produce 190 tonnes of bollard pull in open water. This is 2.5x the pull offered by the ARC 100.
Planned to be classed by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping as an Icebreaker 7, the design is based on extensive model tests at Aker Arctic, Helsinki. Tests demonstrated that the ARC 100 HD will be able to break through 1.5m thick ice when moving ahead and astern at 5 knots (2 knots through 2m thick ice). In oblique mode, it will be able to cut a 50m wide channel through 1.5m thick ice. In broken ice, its vertical side will push ice pieces and the inclined side will break ice floes.
Mikko Niini, managing director of Aker Arctic Technology Inc., provided a timeline for the newbuild in an OTC press conference. The vessel was ordered in October 2011 with keel-laying in July 2012. The vessel is presently under construction and will be launched this summer with delivery to RMT this coming winter by February 2014. The vessel is destined for ice clearing duties in the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland.
As well as increased size, power and maneuverability, the ARC 100 HD adds new ice management and oil spill response functionality. Its dynamic positioning capability will mean it can “spin on the spot” to widen channels. It will also be able to assistduring ice field direction changes – effectively cutting ice alongside the cargo vessel exposed to unfavorable ice flows.
The vessel will be able to clear ice for 30 days at a time, can travel at 16 knots in open water, and will have a 10,000 nautical mile range.
Aker Arctic has incorporated specific oil recovery measures into the design. As with the ARC 100, instead of the vulnerable rubber arm sometimes seen in oil spill response operations, the ARC 100 HD’s vertical hull side will act as a sweep arm up to 60m across in heavy waves. The vessel will also feature a skimmer system, including a side door, effective built-in brush skimmers/collector tanks for oil separation, recovered oil transfer pumps, and a discharge pump.
“This project is a significant milestone for icebreaker expertise, as it shows the way design and construction efforts are keeping pace with continuing demand for harder to recover energy sources,” says Mikko Niini. “With the awarding of drilling permits in the Arctic subject to increasing scrutiny, this is another example of Aker Arctic Technology’scommitment to meeting the challenges set by nature.”