Rolls-Royce has secured a contract to deliver a high-strength controllable pitch propeller for Canadian shipowner Fednav’s new ice-breaking cargo vessel.
Japan’s Universal Shipbuilding will design and build the new vessel to Polar Class 4 requirements at its Tsu shipyard in order to operate year-round in first-year ice.
Under the deal, Rolls-Royce will provide a 6.5m diameter nickel aluminium bronze Kamewa propeller that weighs 45 tonnes and will be powered by a 21.7MW diesel engine.
The propeller to be equipped on the new vessel will be mounted inside a steel nozzle in order to safeguard it from floating blocks of ice while increasing thrust as the ship sails through the ice.
When travelling through open water, the ship uses a third of its power to travel at 13 knots, but when breaking through thick ice it needs all available power to maintain a speed of three knots.
Fednav’s new icebreaker, which will be classed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), will have a capacity of 25,000dwt with scheduled delivery in December 2013.
Following delivery, the vessel will be used to carry nickel and copper concentrates from Canadian Royalties’ Nunavik Nickel Project in northern Quebec through the Arctic ice to customers in Europe.
The initiative is part of a long-term transportation contract signed by Fednav in October 2012 with mining firm Canadian Royalties, a division of Jien Canada Mining.
The new vessel will meet strict design and operational requirements and be capable of operating continuously through level ice up to 1.5 metres thick.
Fednav’s new ship marks the third ice-breaking commercial vessel in its fleet, joining the MV Arctic and the MV Umiak I.
Umiak I was also equipped with a Rolls-Royce controllable pitch propeller that allows the captain to quickly change speed or direction without having to reverse the rotational direction or speed of the propeller and engine, giving improved manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency.
Image: Fednav’s Umiak 1 ice-breaking cargo ship was also equipped with Rolls-Royce Kamewa controllable pitch propeller. Photo: Rolls-Royce.