The icebreaker ‘Alexander Sannikov’ was launched at sea during a formal ceremony at Vyborg Shipyard on November 24. The flagship Arc130 icebreaker, built to order for Gazprom Neft, is designed to support tankers transporting oil from the Novoportovskoye field in the Gulf of Ob.
Work is currently ongoing on the technical fit-out and finishing of the vessel. Prior to its handover the vessel will undergo mooring and sea trials, with ice trials due to be undertaken in the first half of 2018.
Two Icebreaker8 ice-class vessels are being built at Vyborg for Gazprom, and are able to operate at temperatures as low as -50°C. The main purpose of the vessels will be ice-breaker tanker support, assistance in mooring and loading, rescue operations, vessel towing, firefighting, and oil-spill response.
The vessels will be used to ensure the year-round operation of the Arctic Gates oil export terminal, located in the western part of the Gulf of Ob in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The oil terminal, which has a capacity of 8.5 million tonnes per year, has been constructed to transport crude from the Novoportovskoye field.
The vessel is 121.7 metres long, has a beam of 26 metres (including fenders), and a design draught of eight metres. The vessels will have a diesel-electric propulsion system powered by azimuth thrusters (two 7,500kW thrusters at the back and one 6,500kW thruster at the front). The vessels have been designed on the principle of zero emissions: all solid and liquid wastes will be retained on board for recycling offshore. Both vessels will be registered under the Russian flag.
The 21.5MW-capacity vessel is able to operate in ice of up to two metres thick.
Alex Baird is the Managing Director of Baird Maritime