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After a tender procedure, shipyard Royal Niestern Sander and a joint-venture between Mercury Sakhalin and Pola have signed an agreement for the construction of the world’s first shallow draft ice-breaking walk to work vessel. After delivery in December 2021, Mercury Sakhalin will operate this vessel on the East Coast of Sakhalin for the oil and gas industry.
Acting as an intermediary between both parties, Wagenborg Offshore have contributed to the project with her operational experience of sailing in shallow waters with ice breaking vessels in the Caspian as well as the walk to work track record in the Southern North Sea. Together with the in-house design and shipbuilding expertise of Royal Niestern Sander a new innovative type of walk to work vessel was born. Mercury Sakhalin will operate this new vessel on Sakhalin for the oil and gas industry.
The shallow draft ice-breaking walk to work vessel is specially designed and optimized for year-round operations in the challenging conditions on the east coast of Sakhalin in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +35 degrees. By combining a shallow draught of 3,15m, a transit draught of 4,0 m in open waters and a grounded bottom notation, the vessel can be deployed year-round. With proven Wagenborg icebreaking technology of the icebreaking hull and pulling (ice milling) Azimuth thrusters, the vessel can break through ice up to 100cm. The motion compensated gangway on this vessel is optimized for both winter and summer operations, resulting in multiple gangway positions. The vessel will perform year-round crew transfer services for up to 40 persons from the shallow Nabil Port to offshore platforms near the East Coast of Sakhalin. In addition, the vessel can be deployed for oil spill response services.
The vessel is expected to be delivered by the end of December 2021 and strengthens the position of Niestern Sander in the construction of specialist offshore vessels, including icebreakers and walk-to-work vessels. can be considered as one of the largest new build orders for Niestern Sander. In addition, various subcontractors and suppliers from the region are involved in the project for engineering, delivering steel, parts of the engine room, navigation and rescue equipment. This project has a positive economic impact on the maritime cluster in the North of the Netherlands.
As of November 2019, Wagenborg Offshore already working together with Mercury Sakhalin in Sakhalin with the ice-breaking support vessel Arcticaborg.