Russia: RS to Introduce New Standards for Arctic Ships
Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is to introduce new requirements in its Rules, concerning ships operating in Arctic seas. The requirements refer to damage trim and stability calculations to be made in case of ship damage. The enforcement of the new requirements is planned for 2014.
“The development of Arctic deposits will require a large number of icebreakers and ice class ships to be built. Therefore, the shipbuilding of today will need technical standards to enable a reduction of construction costs for these ships to be achieved without harm to their safety. The new RS requirements focus on current needs of the industry and will make the ice ship design and construction process highly efficient,“ Mr Mikhail Grigoriyevich Ayvazov, RS Chief Executive Officer noted.
Earlier, the RS requirements prescribed for icebreakers between 50m to 75m in length to withstand damage to a single compartment in areas with double-side constructions, and for icebreakers above 75m in length to withstand damage to two adjacent compartments. Based on supervision of up-to-date icebreakers and ships of arctic ice categories designed for icebreaking operations, but not having ‘icebreaker’ assigned as their main purpose (supply vessels, for instance), the above requirements may be considered to be superfluous. In view of this circumstance and proceeding from international practice, RS has prepared new requirements for icebreakers and ice class ships having ice category marks Icebreaker6 and Icebreaker7 in their class notations.
New RS requirements prescribe compliance with damage stability criteria for icebreakers with damage to a single compartment irrespective of their length. For ice class ships of Icebreaker6 and Icebreaker7 categories engaged in icebreaking operations and complying with the requirements of RS Rules for icebreakers, but not having ‘icebreaker’ assigned as their main purpose, it is permitted to withstand minor ice damage generally involving double bottom tanks only and not reaching deep into the compartment.
New provisions of RS Rules permit, upon customer’s request, additional marks  and  accordingly to be introduced in the ship’s class notation provided the requirements for damage trim and stability are met with one or two compartments damaged.
The new requirements are harmonised with international safety standards for ships operating in polar waters (considering the provisions of IMO Res. А.1024(26) in particular). Their introduction will also help enhance the competitive growth of the Russian classification society in the global market of classification services.
RS, May 14, 2013