MS Norilskiy Nickel, an arctic container vessel built at Aker Yards in Helsinki, was delivered to the Russian MMC Norilsk Nickel. The vessel is intended for traffic on the Northern Sea Route. MS Norilskiy Nickel is a prototype based on the double-acting ship concept developed by Aker Yards.
The 14,500 dwt Arctic Container Vessel worth $84.9 m is 169 m x 23 m, with 9 m draught and capable of breaking 1.5 m ice.
It will transport metallurgical products from Dudinka on the river of Yenisey to Murmansk.
The vessel can navigate the ice-bound Arctic Ocean all year round, without the assistance of ice breakers.
The double-acting concept is based on the idea that the vessel makes its path in heavy ice conditions with the stern ahead, which is possible through the use of electrical podded propulsion systems.
Thus the stern and the propulsion units are dimensioned for icebreakers simultaneously, however, it is now possible to give an optimised open-water form to the hull in the bow.
This arrangement offers good icebreaking capability with reduced power level and independent ice operation without compromising the open water performance of the ship.
Experience has demonstrated a reduction in fuel consumption compared to conventional ships, which will be further enhanced through the pulling mode of the propeller.
After going to the Arctic several years on a cargo ship and icebreakers, it is hard to envision icebreaking astern. But having an improved open water capability would be fabulous. Some of the icebreakers I worked on would roll in dew.
No doubt we will see more of this technology as the Beaufort Sea becomes busy with oil exploration in the future.