VESSEL REVIEW | Argymak – Long-range hovercraft barge with 150-tonne carrying capacity

Photo: CMI Offshore

Caspian Mainport Aktau, the Kazakhstan branch of Athens-based marine services and logistics company the CMI Offshore Group, has begun operating a new self-propelled air cushion barge (ACB) capable of transporting up to 150 tonnes of assorted cargo.

Its owners claim the RINA-classed Argymak is the world’s first self-propelled hovercraft barge as well as the largest vessel of its kind. The ACB has a length of 56 metres, a beam of 24 metres, a draught of 1.2 metres, a crew complement of six, a range of 300 nautical miles, and a maximum speed of six knots at full load. The air cushion also allows for navigation even on shallow and icy waters, swamps, and tundra.

Photo: ASCO

For propulsion, the ACB relies on three large air fans at the stern for overland operations and two Hydromaster 368kW azimuthing thrusters for navigating in deeper waters. The thrusters also provide enhanced manoeuvrability for operating in more restrictive environments.

Construction of Argymak began in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2019 and was completed in Azerbaijan by Zykh Ship Repair and Construction Yard, a division of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO). The ACB’s main area of operations will encompass Kazakhstan’s Kashagan offshore oil field in the northern Caspian Sea.

Design work on the ACB was done by CMI marine engineering subsidiary Mangistau ACV Solutions.

Click here for more news, features, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on naval architecture.

Type of vessel:Cargo barge
Owner:CMI Offshore Group, Greece
Operator:Caspian Mainport Aktau, Kazakhstan
Designer:Mangistau ACV Solutions, Greece
Builder:Zykh Ship Repair and Construction Yard, Azerbaijan
Length overall:56 metres
Beam:24 metres
Draught:1.2 metres
Deadweight tonnage:150
Propulsion:3 x air fans; 2 x Hydromaster thrusters
Maximum speed:6.0 knots
Range:300 nautical miles
Operational area:Caspian Sea

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