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    Bureau Veritas to class Caspian ice-breaking tugs

    Vessel & ROV News // September 11, 2009

    Classification society Bureau Veritas has been chosen to class two different series of sophisticated ice-breaking tugs for service in the Caspian Sea.

    The first series is for three plus two 66m loa ice-breaking and ice management tugs with 50 tonne bollard pull and Ice Class IA Super Special Service – North Caspian Sea Icebreaker, with ice-breaking capability up to 0.6 m level ice thickness.

    Designed by Aker Arctic, they will be built in the STX RO Offshore Braila yard in Romania for the Caspian Offshore Construction group project in the North Caspian Kashgan oil field.

    “These vessels have been designed by Aker Arctic and will be classed by Bureau Veritas, linking two centres of expertise,” explains Gijsbert de Jong, manager, Bureau Veritas. “The vessels have to be very tough to work in the Caspian and Russian waters. The design has been tailor made for optimum performance in the shallow waters of the North Caspian Sea, where the vessels will break level ice up to 60cm thick and can operate year round in ice conditions up to 1m thick.

    In addition to towage and pushing barges in open water and in ice conditions, they will be capable of ice management operations in astern working mode, clearing ice rubble. The vessels will be equipped for undertaking firefighting, rescue and evacuation tasks and have deck cargo capability for supply functions. Bureau Veritas experts have evaluated the ship’s hull structure under ice-breaking loads, taking into account the specific conditions of the North Caspian Sea, by performing a direct assessment of the ice pressures under different operating scenarios.”

    The second series is currently out to tender and is for shallow draft ice-breaking AHTS vessels to be built for Silverburn Shipping. Designed by Netherlands-based Offshore Ship Designers these vessels will be easy to maintain and repair and can work in 70cm of ice. They have a significant load carrying capability on a shallow draft and provide a minimum 45 tonne BP.

    Model tests at Aker Arctic showed the hull form can perform in ice to Finnish/Swedish Ice Class 1A Super standards. Main dimensions are LOA 49.6 m, beam 16.5 m, seagoing draft 3.5 m, shallow draft 2.5 m.

    “Bureau Veritas has invested heavily in developing expertise in working in difficult ice environments,” explains de Jong. “And we have a lot of experience with very sophisticated offshore craft. In these projects we can bring all that expertise to bear on robust, simple but highly capable vessels, helping the designers, yards and owners to achieve the vessels they need for a tough job.”


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