A pilot new-generation diesel—electric Aker Arc130A icebreaker, designed to service the Arctic terminal at the Gazprom Neft Novoportovskoye field in Orenburg (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region) has successfully passed initial ice-basin testing. Conceptual design of the vessel was developed by Aker Arctic Technology (Finland). Construction of the icebreakers, commissioned by Gazprom Neft Novy Port, will be undertaken by the Vyborg Shipyard.
Test results indicate that the proposed concept of an icebreaker with three steerable propellers (with two located in the stern of the vessel and one in the bow) delivers maximum efficiency for the fulfilment of operations under the severe climatic conditions in which the vessel will have to operate. Testing of the Aker Arc130A prototype in the ice basin demonstrated that the 22 MW-capacity vessel retains maximum manoeuvrability in ice of up to two metres thick (matching that of an Icebreaker8 ice class vessel).
In the course of simulation exercises the prototype demonstrated its ability to continue operating in compacted (floe) ice at 30 percent above its power and propulsion systems’ design capacity:* an outcome which will now allow investigations into the possibility of using a modified model of the Aker Arc 130A in the most severe regions of the Arctic.
Gazprom Neft First Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev commented: “Gazprom Neft remains committed to developing the infrastructure of the Russian Arctic. The commissioning of two new Russian icebreakers in 2017 will mark a major step forward in facilitating year-round accessibility for transport in the northernmost regions of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. We hope that this will become a further major factor in the development of the region.”
The new-generation Aker Arc130A icebreakers will be 121.7 metres in length, have a beam of 25 metres and a design draft of eight metres. The vessels will have a diesel-electric propulsion system, powered by azimuth thrusters (two 7,500 KW thrusters at the back and one 6,500 KW thruster at the front). Once built, the vessels will be operated under the Russian flag.
Gazprom Neft operates throughout the most significant oil- and gas-producing regions of the Russian Federation, including the Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, and the Tomsk, Omsk, Orenburg Oblasts. The corporate structure of Gazprom Neft includes more than 70 upstream, refining, and retailing enterprises throughout Russia, the CIS and abroad.
Gazprom Neft Novy Port, a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, is operator of the Novy Port project, managed by Gazpromneft-Razvitie LLC.
The Vyborg Shipyard PJSC is one of the largest shipbuilding companies of the North-Western Region of Russia, with 65 years’ experience in shipbuilding. More than 200 different vessels have been built since the shipyard’s establishment in 1948, amounting to a total tonnage (deadweight) of over 1,550,000 tonnes. Since 2012 the Vyborg Shipyard has been part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.
* The propulsion system is that part of a vessel’s power system driving the azimuth thrusters for propulsion. It typically includes the generators, motors, and transmission system, etc.
- Photogallery "New Port":