United Shipbuilding (USC) has launched a new ice-breaking supply vessel (IBSV) at Helsinki Shipyard in Finland for Russian shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group).

The launch of the vessel is a part of a contract awarded by Sovcomflot to USC to build four new vessels.

Vessels are currently under construction by USC’s affiliates Vyborg Shipyard and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

Earlier Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (Sakhalin Energy) has selected Sovcomflot for construction and long-term operation of three multifunctional icebreaking standby vessels to serve the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas field.

The Sakhalin II project involves phased development of the Piltun-Astokhskoye and Lunskoye gasfields located offshore the north-eastern coast of the Sakhalin Island, Russia.

Sovcomflot also agreed earlier to supply the multi-task ice-class supply vessel to serve the Sakhalin-2 offshore platforms.

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Scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year, the new 3,000t new ice-breaking supply vessel features Azipod propulsion system with 13MW power rating.

"It is in all respects top of the line in the world, and it will operate in demanding tasks in the Sakhalin region."

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard managing director Esko Mustamäki said: "The vessel launched today is a forerunner in many fields. It is in all respects top of the line in the world, and it will operate in demanding tasks in the Sakhalin region."

The three emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) are being designed to offer enhanced functionality. It will have deadweight of 2,000t.

The vessels will be used for the year-round delivery of personnel, supplies and consumables to three production platforms in the Okhotsk Sea, which include Piltun-Astokhskoye-A, Piltun-Astokhskoye-B and Lunskoye-A.

In addition to undertaking complex environmental protection measures, the vessels are expected to improve the personnel safety based on the production platforms.

Sakhalin Energy is a joint venture between Gazprom with 50% stake, Royal Dutch Shell 27.5%, Mitsui & Company 12.5% and Mitsubishi 10%.

Image: Illustration of icebreaking supply vessel. Photo: courtesy of SCF Group.