After a tender procedure, Dutch shipyard Royal Niestern Sander and a joint-venture between Russia's Mercury Sakhalin and Pola have signed an agreement for the construction of the world’s first shallow draft ice-breaking walk to work vessel. After delivery in December 2021, Mercury Sakhalin will operate this vessel on the East Coast of Sakhalin, Russia for the offshore oil and gas industry.
Acting as an intermediary between both parties, Wagenborg Offshore have contributed to the project with her operational experience of sailing in shallow waters with ice breaking vessels in the Caspian as well as the walk to work track record in the Southern North Sea. Together with the in-house design and shipbuilding expertise of Royal Niestern Sander a new innovative type of walk to work vessel was born.
The shallow draft ice-breaking walk to work vessel is specially designed and optimized for year-round operations in the challenging conditions on the east coast of Sakhalin in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +35 degrees. By combining a shallow draft of 3.15 meters, a transit draft of 4 meters in open waters and a grounded bottom notation, the vessel can be deployed year-round. Its icebreaking hull and pulling (ice milling) Azimuth thrusters allow the vessel to break through ice up to 100 centimetres thick.
The motion compensated gangway on this vessel is optimized 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 cast coast of Sakhalin. In addition, the vessel can be deployed for oil spill response services.