Ship contract breaks the ice

Finland’s Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc and Far-Eastern Shipping Company, Russia, have signed contracts for the design and construction of two icebreaking stand-by and supply vessels.

Following evaluation by ExxonMobil, operator of the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia, Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc, Finland, and Far-Eastern Shipping Company PLC (FESCO), Russia, have signed contracts for the design and construction of two icebreaking stand-by and supply vessels for the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas projects.

Financial details have not been disclosed and the contracts are still subject to approval by the Central Bank of Russia. The vessels are due for delivery in 2005 and will operate in the Okhotsk Sea in the Far East of Russia.

The ships are based on the ‘double-acting’ concept for icebreakers, which was developed by the Arctic Technology Centre (MARC), part of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. In this concept the vessel meets the most difficult ice conditions moving with the ship’s stern first, using azimuthing electric propulsion.

The ships will operate in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Centigrade and difficult ice conditions with ice ridges up to 20 metres deep.