MMC Norilsk Nickel and the Finnish shipbuilding company Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. have signed a contract for the construction of an arctic container ship with a capacity of 14,500 tonnes to work the Northern Sea Route.
The design of the new vessel was developed by Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. on the basis of a patented method for dual-use vessels. A model of the carrier underwent testing at the Arctic Research Centre, where the vessel’s design was given the go ahead. The new ship will be used to transport MMC Norilsk Nickel’s products between the Dudinka and Murmansk ocean ports.
In the words of Dmitri Cheskis, the Deputy General Director of MMC Norilsk Nickel – “Norilsk Nickel is currently refining its transport and logistics with the aim of guaranteeing the punctual and economical delivery of cargo. As regards this, our company has a need for cost efficient modern vessels that are capable of carrying cargo in the Arctic, as well as being able to operate such services in as autonomous a way as possible. We made our choice of shipbuilder as the result of international competition.”
Yrjo Julin, the President and Senior Executive Director of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. adds “The project will make for a revival of the high standard and extensive shipbuilding that we had in the past, when Kvaerner Masa-Yards’ construction facilities delivered dozens of vessels to Russian concerns. We are proud of the way that our design, which will allow for the highly economical transportation of cargo, has been received.
The value of the contract for the construction of the arctic container ship comes to approximately 70 million euros. The new vessel will be the first of a possible series of several ships that will replace the SA-15 type bulk carriers which were built in the Finnish shipbuilding yards of Wärtsilä and Valmet in the 1980s, and which have served well on the North Sea Route for the past twenty years.
The new arctic vessel will be constructed at Kvaerner Masa-Yards’ facilities in Helsinki, from where it will set sail for to its new home for final testing in the icy waters of the Arctic in February 2006.
The chief characteristics of the new vessel:
Overall length – approximately 168.6m
Breadth - 23.1 m
Keel Depth - 9.0 m Ice
Breaking Capacity - 1.5 m
Deadweight - 14,500 ton
Container Capacity - 650
Gross Tonnage - approximately 16,000
Class - Russian Maritime Registry of Shipping