Rolls-Royce to supply propeller for ice-breaking bulker

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DECEMBER 18, 2012 — Rolls-Royce has won a contract to supply a high-strength controllable pitch propeller for a new ice-breaking cargo ship that will transport high value nickel and copper concentrates from Canada, through the Arctic ice, to customers in Europe.

Canada's Fednav Limited, ordered the 25,000 dwt ship in October to service a long-term contract which Canadian Royalties that provides for the transportation of nickel and copper concentrates from the Nunavik Nickel Project in northern Quebec to customers in Europe as well as the import from Europe of mine supplies and equipment. Canadian Royalties Inc. is a mining company based in Quebec and owned by Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co. Ltd. of China through its Canadian subsidiary Jien Canada Mining Ltd.

The Polar Class 4 vessel will be built in Japan at Universal Shipbuilding's Tsu shipyard, and will be classed by DNV. It will meet stringent design and operational requirements including a reinforced hull to allow it to proceed in continuous mode through level ice up to 1.5 m thick.

The scheduled delivery date is December 2013.

Rolls-Royce will supply a 6.5 m diameter nickel aluminum bronze Kamewa propeller for the vessel.

The propeller will weigh 45 tonnes and be powered by a 21.7 MW diesel engine.

The propeller will be mounted inside a steel nozzle, to give protection from floating blocks of ice while increasing thrust as the ship pushes its way 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 already operates the world's most powerful ice-breaking bulk carrier Umiak I, which regularly has to contend with the most rugged Arctic conditions including hard packed shear ice and icebergs. Like the new ship, the Umiak I is fitted with a Rolls-Royce controllable pitch propeller that enables the captain to quickly change direction which is essential when ramming the ice is required.

Neil Gilliver, Rolls-Royce, President – Merchant said: "We are delighted that Fednav has again selected our high-strength propeller for operating through what must be one of the toughest shipping routes in the world. Our ice-class technology is enabling our customers to operate all year round in the transportation of valuable cargoes to their global markets.

"Fednav has a proven track record in this specialized type of operation and we look forward to working together during the construction and entry into service of this unique and very powerful ship."

Fednav already operates the world's most powerful ice-breaking bulk carrier Umiak I, which regularly has to contend with the most rugged Arctic conditions including hard packed shear ice and icebergs. Like the new ship, the Umiak I is fitted with a Rolls-Royce controllable pitch propeller that enables the captain to quickly change direction which is essential when ramming the ice is required.

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