Schottel Thrusters for Russia-bound Ice-Breaking W2W Vessel

Credit;: Schottel
Credit;: Schottel

Dutch shipbuilder Royal Niestern Sander has ordered Schottel thrusters for what has been described as the world's first shallow-draught ice-breaking walk-to-work vessel, targeted for operation at the Russian Far East.

Under the order from a joint venture between the Russian companies Mercury Sakhalin and Pola, Royal Niestern Sander is constructing the 75.9-meter-long, 14-meter-wide vessel that will serve the offshore oil and gas installations near the Sakhalin Island, Russia.

After ordering an ice-strengthened gangway for the vessel form Ampelmann in June, the shipyard has now ordered thrusters from the German propulsion specialist Schottel.

The new vessel will feature a Schottel propulsion package which is driven by electric motors. It comprises one retractable rudder propeller type SRP 260 R (810 kW) and one transverse thruster type STT 2 (700 kW).

"In addition to efficiency and reliability, the most important requirement of thrusters on walk-to-work vessels is precise maneuverability. Schottel has already proven the performance of their propulsion units on several other walk-to-work vessels,” states Maxim Anatolievich Petrov, General Manager at OOO Mercury Sakhalin.

The shallow-draught vessel is specifically designed for year-round operations in the challenging conditions on the east coast of Sakhalin in temperatures ranging from -30 to +35 degrees Celsius. It combines a shallow draught of 3.15 meters, a transit draught of 4 meters in open waters and can break through ice up to 100 centimeters.

The walk-to-work vessel is equipped with a motion-compensated gangway and offers accommodation for 45 service technicians and 15 crew members, serving as a small flotel.

Its main purpose is to ensure the safe transfer of service technicians and equipment to offshore facilities. 

"Accordingly, the system design has to meet the high comfort standards of a flotel, fulfilled in this case by the Schottel thrusters," Schottel said.

The vessel will perform year-round crew transfer services from the shallow Nabil Port to offshore platforms near the east coast of Sakhalin.

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