The Fesco Sakhalin provides icebreaking and support operations to the Sakhalin offshore project off the coast of Northern Russia. The vessel is powered by three eight-cylinder Wärtsilä 38B diesel-powered gen-sets each delivering 5800 k W at 600 r/min.
Novel Vessels can
Cope with Icy Seas
Two rather different vessels have
recently been supplied by Aker Yards
for operation in extreme icy conditions
in northern Europe. The first is a novel
container/cargo vessel delivered to
Russian mining company, Norilsk
Nickel, for operation in icy seas without assistance from an ice-breaker.
Built by Aker Yards’ German shipyards, the MS Norilskiy Nickel is the
first of four such craft contracted to be
delivered through 2008 to 2009 for
the transportation of metallurgical
products from Dudinka on the river
Yenisey in Siberia to Murmansk in
The MS Norilskiy Nickel was delivered in 2006 and used for ice trials in
the Kara Sea. These were highly successful. A particular novel feature of
the craft is its double-acting hull form
and propulsion system. When encountering heavy ice conditions, it
reverses and moves stern first to break
its way through ice — anything up to
1. 5 m thick having a 20 cm snow layer.
When returning to lighter ice conditions or open water, the vessel turns
180° and sails traditionally bow first.
Two bridges are provided, depending
Peter Mullins is a freelance writer based near
on the direction of travel, and this flexibility is claimed significantly to improve efficiency of operation.
Having a gross tonnage of 16 486 t,
the ship carries 648 TEU containers,
with 259 on deck and the remainder in
the holds. There are 18 crew cabins, a
pilot cabin and three double cabins for
occasional passengers. Amenities
include a sauna, gymnasium and seawater swimming pool.
Main power is provided by three Vee-configuration, 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 32
engines each having a maximum continuous rating of 6000 k W at 750 r/min.
These give the vessel a total of 18 MW of
power to drive three ABB 8314 kVA
alternators providing electrical power
for a single 13 MW Azipod propulsion
unit with a propeller diameter of 5. 6 m.
This gives the vessel a maximum operating speed of 16. 1 knots in open water.
An advanced online information system
is fitted to determine ice conditions
along the ship’s proposed course.
All essential electrical equipment
including switchboard, propulsion
transformers, high-voltage transformers and the remote control systems
have been supplied by ABB. Auxiliary
power is provided by a single Volvo
750 kVA harbor generator, as well as a
414 kVA emergency generator.
The second vessel, Fesco Sakhalin,
was commissioned by the Far East
Shipping Co. in response to a contract
from Exxon Neftegas to provide icebreaking and support operations for
the Sakhalin offshore project. It is
intended that the ship will carry out
year-round operation in a support and
standby ice-management role for the
The vessel was specially designed for
the Sakhalin area in northern Russian
waters where extreme conditions down
to - 40°C expose the platform to the risk
of becoming surrounded by grounded
ice rubble. Like Norilskiy Nickel, Fesco
Sakhalin is double acting, allowing it to
approach ice stern first.
The power system for the vessel is
diesel-electric based on three eight-cylinder Wärtsilä 38B diesel-powered
gen-sets, each delivering 5800 k W at
600 r/min. These drive a pair of 6. 5
MW ABB Azipod V16 DAS pods
designed to meet DNV Ice Class 10.
The pods are designed to “eat up” the
ice rubble while the waterflow flushes
the hull. Each Azipod has four hydraulic steering motors. A hydraulic
power unit with two electric motors
connected to hydraulic pumps provides the power for the steering system,
one of the motors being connected to
the main network, the other to the
emergency network. Two Kamewa
Ulstein TT2200 tunnel thrusters with
high ice class are also provided to aid
An ABB 6847 kVA synchronous generator provides electricity at 3. 3 kV/50
hz. A secondary gen-set for harbor supplies comprises a six-cylinder Wärtsilä
20 diesel engine furnishing 1080 k W at
Other essential equipment is provided by Rolls-Royce. This comprises a
complete system for transporting and
delivering bulk powder cargoes. Six
domed tanks, each having a capacity of
50 m3 are complete with compressors,
valves and a control system with bridge
mimic diagram. The bulk system has a
working pressure of 5. 6 bar and is
arranged so that two different types of
cargo can be transferred to the rig