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More than anyone else - but we continue learning

Aker Arctic has gathered references from designing and constructing icebreakers and ice-going vessels for more than 50 years.

Since 1969, when the first ice model basin was built, systematic ice model testing has been done with the ship projects already in the design phase of the ships. Extensive full scale ice trials have been systematically done to confirm the results from the model tests, and to refine performance predictions from model testing.

There is no other marine consulting and testing facility in the world with such a large source and database for current development work. We know that the arctic environment is not simple to predict, that each area is different. We know how to design ships optimized for their specific areas. This know-how we continue to refine through constant search for more information on the arctic environment and physics of the interaction between ice and built constructions.


STX Europe has unique expertise in the technology needed for designing and building icebreakers and icebreaking special vessels. A total of 60 icebreakers have been built, ranging from super-class, nuclear-powered icebreakers of the highest ice class to small river and lake icebreakers. STX Europe has extensive knowledge of all aspects of Arctic marine transportation and logistics, as well as structural dimensioning and a huge environmental data base.

Icebreaking Special Vessels

STX Europe has unique expertise in the technology needed for designing and building icebreaking special vessels. More than 40 special Arctic vessels have been built, ranging from Arctic multi-purpose cargo vessels and tankers of the highest ice class to rescue vessels and shallow draught river-sea cargo vessels. In addition, two Arctic tankers (Uikku. Lunni) have been converted with electric Azipod drives.

Two icebreaking supply ships for operation in the Caspian Sea were delivered in 1998. The Arcticaborg and Antarcticaborg utilize Double Acting operation with stern first in order to reach the drilling platform in winter time.

M/T Tempera and sistership M/T Mastera are the first purposely built Double Acting Tankers
The 106.000 dwt crude oil carriers were constructed for Fortum Shipping by Sumitoma with a DAT license from Aker Arctic Technology.

A Double Acting Arctic Container Ship has been developed for Norilsk Nickel, for operation on the Northern Sea Route
The newbuilding concept has been developed using the Arctic technology laboratory and patented Double Acting Ship concept. Several feasibility studies have been made and ice model testings have been performed at the arctic technology laboratory to find out the best economical and technological solution for the vessel.The new Arctic Container Vessel will transport minerals from Dudinka on the river of Yenisey to Murmansk in Russia.

The new vessel is a prototype for a series of potentially several vessels which are to replace the current SA-15 type vessels that have been in successful use for the last twenty years. Also these vessels were built in Finland by Wärtsilä and Valmet shipyards in the 1980’s. The Arctic Container Vessel is built by Yards and delivered in early 2006.

Icebreaking stand-by and supply vessel for Far-Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO)
In 2003, Far-Eastern Shipping Company PLC (FESCO), Russia, placed an order at Aker Finnyards for an icebreaking stand-by and supply vessel for the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia, following evaluation by ExxonMobil, operator of the Sakhalin-1 project. The vessel,s due for delivery in May 2005, will be operating in the harsh Okhotsk Sea environment in the Sakhalin area in the Far-East of Russia. The vessel has a length over all of 100 metres and a deadweight of 4.000 dwt. The shaft power is 13 MW and the ship will be fitted with azimuthing electric propulsion.

The ship design is based on the “double-acting” concept for icebreakers, which was developed by the Arctic Technology Centre (MARC), part of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. The “double-acting” concept has now become an industry standard. In this concept the vessel meets the most difficult ice conditions moving with the ship’s stern first, using azimuthing electric propulsion. By this, less power is needed and the ship’s bow can be optimised for efficient open water operation. The operating conditions in the Sakhalin area are demanding with freezing temperatures down to -40 degrees C and difficult ice conditions with ice ridges up to 20 metres deep and solid ice exceeding 1,5 meters in thickness.

The current ship design is a result of the long term R&D activity by MARC. This activity started already in 1989 with research on the operational conditions offshore Sakhalin and has continued in form of different research and development tasks for the potential operators and oil companies in the area and in co-operation with several Russian organisations.

Several icebreaking offshore vessels have been built over the years.

Research Vessels

STX Europe shipyards have built some 50 research vessels over the years including vessels for hydrographic, geophysical, biological, hydro-meteorological, seismic and geological research. These ships have been built with all scientific equipment and software installed, and has included training of the operators. A number of special equipment and solutions have been developed in order to improve the vessel's research capability.

Research vessels for Antarctic and Arctic duties have also been built and developed. The Antarctic/Baltic icebreaking research vessel Aranda, for Finland, was built in 1989. Design references include the Aurora Australis, Australia (design/material/supervision, 1989), James Clark Ross, United Kingdom (preliminary/contract design, 1991) and Nathaniel B. Palmer, USA (conceptional design,1989).

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