With construction underway on the first ever Oblique Icebreaker, research specialist Aker Arctic Technology has unveiled a new version of the vessel type that will bring ice management and pollution control in thick first year ice to a new level.
The first ARC 100 is due delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport in early 2014, after a collaborative build involving Kaliningrad’s OJSC Yantar and Helsinki’s Arctech yards. The resulting newbuilding is a breakthrough in asymmetric three-thruster conceptual design, which Aker said will bring new capability in terminal operations, ice management and oil spill response in freezing seas.
The 76-meter vessel, with her oblique ice-breaking action is a game changer in year-round oil spill response. Additionally, a single Oblique Icebreaker cuts channels through ice for cargo ships to follow as wide as two equivalent conventional icebreakers moving ahead side by side.
Aker Arctic has followed up with a “Heavy Duty” ARC 100 HD version of the design – a 98-meter long and 26-meter across the beam vessel. The vessel will draw on 24,000 kW of engine power and 19,500 kW of propulsion power to offer 190 tons of bollard pull in open water. This is 2.5 times the pull offered by the ARC 100.
Planned to be classed by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping as an Icebreaker 7, the design is based on extensive model tests at Aker Arctic, Helsinki. Tests demonstrated that the ARC 100 HD will be able to break through 1.5-meter thick ice when moving ahead and astern at five knots (two knots through two meters of ice). In the oblique mode, it will be able to cut a 50-meter wide channel through 1.5-meter thick ice. In broken ice, its vertical side will push ice pieces and its inclined side break ice floats.
As well as increased size, power and manoeuvrability, the ARC 100 HD adds new ice management and oil spill response functionality. Its dynamic positioning capability will mean it can ‘spin on the spot’ to widen channels. It will also be able to assist during ice field direction changes – effectively cutting ice alongside the cargo vessel exposed to unfavourable ice flows.
Aker Arctic has incorporated specific oil recovery measures. As with the ARC100 design, instead of the vulnerable rubber arm sometimes seen in oil spill response operations, the ARC 100 HD’s vertical hull side itself will act as a sweep arm up to 60m across in heavy waves. The vessel will also feature a skimmer system, including a side door, effective in-built brush skimmers/collector tanks for oil separation, recovered oil transfer pumps, and a discharge pump.