Aker Arctic develops even more powerful oblique icebreaker

Aker-ARC-100-HDMAY 9, 2013 — While the first oblique ice breaker, ARC 100, nears completion, research specialist Aker Arctic Technology has unveiled a new version of the unique vessel type that promises to bring ice management and pollution control in thick first year ice to a new level.

ARC 100 HD will have 2.5 times the bollard pull of ARC 100

ARC 100 is set for delivery to the Russian Ministry of Transport in early 2014, after a collaborative shipbuilding effort involving the OJSC Yantar shipyard in Kalingrad, Russia, and the Arctech yard in Helsinki, Finland (see earlier story). The resulting newbuilding is a breakthrough in asymmetric three-thruster conceptual design, which will bring new capability in terminal operations, ice management and oil spill response in freezing seas.

The 76 m long ARC 100, with her oblique ice-breaking action, is a game changer in year-round oil spill response. Additionally, a single oblique icebreaker can cut channels through ice for cargo ships to follow that are as wide as cut by two equivalent conventional icebreakers moving ahead side by side.


Now Aker Arctic has developed a "Heavy Duty" ARC 100 HD version of the design – a 98 m long and 26 m across the beam vessel. The vessel will draw on 24,000 kW of engine power and 19,500 kW of propulsion power to offer 190 tonnes of bollard pull in open water. This is 2.5 times the pull offered by the ARC 100.

Planned to be classed by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping as an Icebreaker 7, the design is based on extensive model tests at Aker Arctic, Helsinki. Tests demonstrated that the ARC 100 HD will be able to break through 1.5 m thick ice when moving ahead and astern at 5 knots (2 knots through 2 m thick ice). In the oblique mode, it will be able to cut a 50 m wide channel through 1.5 m thick ice. In broken ice, its vertical side will push ice pieces and its inclined side break ice floats.

As well as increased size, power and maneuverability, the ARC 100 HD adds new ice management and oil spill response functionality. Its dynamic positioning capability will mean it can "spin on the spot"' to widen channels. It will also be able to assist during ice field direction changes – effectively cutting ice alongside the cargo vessel exposed to unfavorable ice flows.

Aker Arctic has incorporated specific oil recovery measures. As with the ARC100 design, instead of the vulnerable rubber arm sometimes seen in oil spill response operations, the ARC 100 HD's vertical hull side itself will act as a sweep arm up to 60 m across in heavy waves. The vessel will also feature a skimmer system, including a side door, effective in-built brush skimmers/collector tanks for oil separation, recovered oil transfer pumps, and a discharge pump.

"This project is a significant milestone for icebreaker expertise, as it shows the way design and construction efforts are keeping pace with continuing demand for harder to recover energy sources," says Mikko Niini, Managing Director of Aker Arctic Technology Inc. "With the awarding of drilling permits in the Arctic subject to increasing scrutiny, this is another example of Aker Arctic Technology's commitment to meeting the challenges set by nature."

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