September 5, 2003

Masa-Yards gets Russian icebreaker order
Following evaluation by ExxonMobil, operator of the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia, Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc., Finland, and Far-Eastern Shipping Company PLC (FESCO), Russia, have signed contracts for the design and construction of two icebreaking stand-by and supply vessels for the Sakhalin-1 project. The contracts are still subject to approval by the Central Bank of Russia and to issues related to post-delivery financing. The contract for the second ship will be confirmed by early November 2003.

Kvaerner Masa-Yards and FESCO have agreed not to publish the value of the contracts at this stage. The contracts will not be booked to Kvaerner Masa-Yards' order reserve until all approvals and financing have been confirmed.

The vessels are due for delivery in 2005. They will operate in the harsh Okhotsk Sea environment in the Sakhalin area in Far-East Russia.

The operating conditions in the Sakhalin area are demanding, with freezing temperatures down to -40íC and difficult ice conditions with ice ridges up to 20 meters deep and solid ice exceeding 1.5 meters in thickness.

These ships are based on the "double-acting" concept for icebreakers, which was developed by the Arctic Technology Centre (MARC), part of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. The "double-acting" concept has now become an industry standard. In this concept the vessel meets the most difficult ice conditions moving with the ship's stern first, using azimuthing electric propulsion. By this, less power is needed and the ship's bow can be optimized for efficient open water operation.

The current ship design is a result of the long term R&D activity by MARC. This activity started n 1989 with research on the operational conditions offshore Sakhalin and has continued in form of different research and development tasks for the potential operators and oil companies in the area and in cooperation with several Russian organizations.

The vessels have a length overall of 100 m and a deadweight of 4,000 dwt. The shaft power is 13 MW and the ships will be fitted with two azimuthing rudder propellers.

"The new contract is fully in line with FESCO's strategy of being the leading operator of icebreakers and heavy ice-strengthened vessels in the Far-East," said Evgeniy N. Ambrosov, President and CEO of FESCO. "FESCO has chosen Kvaerner Masa-Yards' design as most suitable for the environmental conditions around Sakhalin Island. We hope for successful cooperation with the shipyard in order to receive good quality ships on agreed time."

Jorma Eloranta, President and CEO of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. said: "These contracts are the first contracts for icebreakers from Finland to Russia since the construction of the nuclear icebreakers Taymyr and Vaygach in the 1980s. We are very pleased to have the possibility to sign these newbuilding contracts with our old client FESCO and by that to re-establish the very long and fruitful cooperation we have had in shipbuilding with them and between our countries."

"In addition to a number of arctic cargo ships, we have delivered six icebreakers for FESCO since the late 1960's, of which four are still in their operation. FESCO has expressed their satisfaction with the operation and quality of these ships. We regard this to be a proof of the quality in design and shipbuilding we always strive after," Eloranta continued.

Tell a friend: