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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Argentinian Polar Icebreaker Project Kicks Off

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 13, 2022

Signing of the meeting minutes at the project kickoff meeting at Tandanor Shipyard in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From left: Miguel Tudino, President, Tandanor Shipyard and Lars Snellman, Project Manager, Aker Arctic. (Photo: Aker Arctic)

Signing of the meeting minutes at the project kickoff meeting at Tandanor Shipyard in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From left: Miguel Tudino, President, Tandanor Shipyard and Lars Snellman, Project Manager, Aker Arctic. (Photo: Aker Arctic)

Finnish engineering firm Aker Arctic announced it has signed a deal with Argentinian shipbuilder Tandanor Shipyard to finalize the basic engineering design of a new polar vessel for Argentina. The project officially kicked off in Buenos Aires in May 2022.

Aker Arctic had developed the concept design in 2014, but the project was shelved while awaiting the most appropriate way to follow on into the shipbuilding phase.

Recently, the Argentinian government made the decision to upgrade Tandanor Shipyard’s facilities in order to build the polar vessel domestically. At the same time, the agreement to continue the ship design project was made.

Tandanor Shipyard and Aker Arctic will now continue developing a new polar vessel that will supply Argentina’s 13 Antarctic stations, together with the existing Finnish-built icebreaking scientific and logistics support vessel A.R.A. Almirante Irízar.

In the time since the initial concept was developed, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code and other international regulations have come into force, along with technological advancements. For these reasons, the design was updated to reflect the changes in the rules and regulations and upgraded mission requirements. The basic design work is planned to be ready in April 2023.

"Governmental acquisition projects typically span many years and are often at risk of being prolonged due to elections, multiple interest groups and bureaucratic budgeting processes," said sales manager Arto Uuskallio from Aker Arctic.

"The gap between a commercial project and governmental requirements is also sometimes hard to bridge," Uuskallio added. "However, Argentina acted quickly at making decisions for the first phase of the project, which advanced promptly."

Technical details of the Aker ARC 133 design
Length overall: approx. 131.5 m
Design draft: 8 m
Deadweight capacity: not less than 5,000 ton
Ice class: Polar Class 4
Power plant: Three diesel-electric generators
Propulsion system: Electric propulsion motors with shaft lines and fixed pitch propellers

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