Aker Artic Technology unveils new oblique icebreaker design

9 May 2013 (Last Updated May 9th, 2013 18:30)

As the construction of the first oblique icebreaker vessel ARC 100 nears completion, Finnish engineering firm Aker Arctic Technology has introduced a more powerful oblique ice breaker concept called ARC 100 HD.

As the construction of the first oblique icebreaker vessel ARC 100 nears completion, Finnish engineering firm Aker Arctic Technology has introduced a more powerful oblique ice breaker concept called ARC 100 HD.

Oblique icebreakers are able to operate obliquely with sideways movements as well as ahead and astern. The first oblique icebreaker, Aker Arctic’s ARC 100, is due to be delivered by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard to the Russian Ministry of Transport in 2014.

The ARC 100 HD design, which is 98m long and 26m across the beam, has 24,000kW of engine power and 19,500kW of propulsion power to offer 190t of bollard pull in open water, more than twice the pull offered by ARC 100.

Unveiled at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, ARC 100 HD will be categorised as an Icebreaker 7 by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

The icebreaker has been designed following testing at Aker Arctic, Helsinki, during which the vessel showed it can break through 1.5m of thick ice when going ahead and astern at five knots.

The latest vessel can cut a 50m-wide channel through 1.5m of thick ice in oblique mode, and its vertical side can push ice pieces.

Besides featuring an increased size, higher power and greater maneuverability, the ARC 100 HD also offers new ice management and oil spill response capabilities.

Rather than deploying a rubber arm as sometimes seen in oil spill response operations, the ARC 100 HD will implement the vertical hull side as a sweep arm up to 60m across in waves.

The vessel also has a skimmer system with a side door, in-built brush skimmers or collector tanks for oil separation, transfer pumps for recovered oil and pumps for discharge.

Aker Arctic Technology managing director Mikko Niini said the project is a significant milestone for icebreaker expertise, as it shows the way design and construction efforts are keeping pace with continuing demand for harder-to-recover energy sources.

"With the awarding of drilling permits in the Arctic subject to increasing scrutiny, this is another example of Aker Arctic Technology’s commitment to meeting the challenges set by nature," Niini said.