Photo: Artist render of the newbuild; Source: Wagenborg

Companies team up to build world’s first shallow draft ice-breaking W2W vessel

Royal Niestern Sander shipyard 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.

Wagenborg was an intermediary between the parties and has contributed to the project with its operational experience of sailing in shallow waters with ice-breaking vessels in the Caspian Sea and walk to work operations in the North Sea.

The offshore specialist said that after delivery in December 2021, Mercury Sakhalin will operate this vessel on the east coast of 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 3.15 metres, a transit draught of 4.0 metres in open waters and a grounded bottom notation, the vessel can be deployed year-round.

With Wagenborg icebreaking technology of the icebreaking hull and pulling Azimuth thrusters, the vessel can break through ice up to one metre.

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. The vessel can also be deployed for oil spill response services.

It is worth mentioning that Wagenborg and Mercury Sakhalin are already working together in the Sakhalin region with the ice-breaking support vessel Arcticaborg which started operations in November 2019.