Breaking the ice

Established in 1948, Vyborg Shipyard PSJC (VSY) has used its six decades of experience in shipbuilding to become one of the leading shipyards in Russia. Having built more than 200 different vessels with deadweight up to 12,000 tonnes and a total displacement of more than 1,550,000 tonnes, VSY has a solid reputation in the market, particularly in the icebreaker field. Employing more than 1500 people, the shipyard delivers high quality vessels thanks to specialists that are certified by leading international classification societies such as Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, Germanischer Lloyd, Bureau Veritas, RINA and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

Since previously being featured in Shipping & Marine magazine in February 2016, VSY has continued to enjoy a successful year; currently involved in the engineering and construction of a port icebreaker for FSUE Atomflot, the shipyard has also gained a series of contracts for the construction of fishing trawlers with Arkhangelsk Trawl Fleet in March 2016. “According to the contracts Vyborg Shipyard will build ATF four medium-size trawlers project ST 116 XL in a turnkey manner. The vessels will be reinforced to Ice3 class. The planned catch capacity of each trawler is up to 100 tonnes of fish per day and also the vessels are supposed to be fitted out with combined holds of 375 m3 for seafood,” explains Alexander Solovyev, General Director at Vyborg Shipyard PSJC.

“Meanwhile, in September 2016 a keel-laying ceremony was held for a port icebreaker under the Yamal LNG project for FSUE Atomflot. The port icebreaker, ten MW with an innovative propulsion system, will be built at Vyborg Shipyard for operations in the port of Sabetta. According to the contract the shipyard is responsible for engineering and construction of the vessel and the delivery is scheduled for November 2018. The vessel is intended for escorting LNG carriers through approach channel and in the water area of the Sabetta port on the Yamal peninsula. The vessel is 84.3 m in length, 21.3 m in breadth and has a draught of 6.5 m; taking into account transported cargo at maximum draught, the deadweight is no less than 2000 tonnes, the ice breaking capability is 1.5 m,” he adds.

The distinctive feature of this vessel is its innovative propulsion complex, which consists of four thrusters with a capacity of 2.5 MW each. These thrusters are located in pairs on the bow and stern to provide optimum operations in ice conditions as well as superior maneuverability and performance of special operations in the water area surrounding Sabetta Port.

In addition to these projects, the shipyard is also completing the last in a series of icebreakers that were ordered by the Federal Agency of Marine and River Transport. The diesel-powered icebreakers have a rated power of 18 MW; the icebreakers have ice-breaking capacity of 1.5 m thickness and is intended for independent ice escorting of heavy tonnage vessels, towage, fire fighting on floaters and other activities; these include salvage and assistance to distressed vessels and transportation of cargo. “The first ship, Vladivostok, was handed over to the customer in October 2015. Two months later in December a ceremony was held at Vyborg Shipyard, which included signing the delivery and acceptance protocol of the icebreaker Murmansk project 21900 M. The third serial icebreaker, Novorossiysk, will be handed over to the customer at the end of the 2016. As of today, these vessels are the most powerful diesel vessels in the world,” highlights Alexander.

Also in April 2015 VSY signed contracts for two 22MW multi-purpose diesel-powered icebreaking support vessels by the order of Gazprom Neft Novy Port LLC, the Novy Port field being one of the largest oil & gas condensate deposits under development in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO). These icebreaking support vessels will be operated on the Arctic terminal of the Novoportovskoye (Novy Port) oilfield, located in the west of the Gulf of Ob on the Yamal Peninsula. The main purpose of the vessels will be to provide escort for tankers in ice conditions, assistance with mooring and loading operations, rescue, towing, firefighting and oil-spill response operations. The vessels will provide icebreaking capability up to two metres and considerable manoeuvrability at a rather small draught, and are designed to be operated all year round at temperatures of up to -50 degrees Celsius.

The keel-laying ceremonies of vessels took part at the end of 2015. Lead ship Alexander Sannikov will be launched at the end of November 2016.

Elaborating on the reasons behind VSY’s success in the icebreaker segment, Alexander notes: “At present we specialise only in civil shipbuilding and have become one of the leaders in the construction of these vessels in Russia. Nowadays most domestic shipyards are focused on the construction of military vessels, despite the fact that the market for civil vessels has significant potential, primarily in connection with developments in the Arctic. It is in the construction of ice-class vessels that we have the greatest competence. On top of this, our maintenance of competitive prices, together with high quality and reasonable construction terms, has ensured we continue to be successful.”

In fact, VSY, a corporate member of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, was recognised as the leader of civil shipbuilding from the tonnage of vessels handed over in Russia in 2015. “The work of the shipyard was viewed in high esteem, based on the research conducted by the agency Infoline Analytics,” states Alexander.

Having cemented its reputation for expertise in the field of icebreaker vessels and civil shipbuilding, VSY is certain to remain in demand in a market that offers strong opportunities for growth. “Certainly, the highly qualified and dedicated personnel of VSY has played a vital role in ensuring the company’s growth; there is a culture among the shipyard’s staff of finding efficient, innovative and customer-orientated solutions that enable the shipyard to provide an exceptionally professional service. Moving forward, we will focus on successfully completing our current projects, receiving new orders and extending our capabilities. Looking further ahead, our long-term objective is to modernise the shipyard in order to maintain our market position and increase competitiveness. The whole VSY team is working hard on these goals every day,” Alexander concludes.

Vyborg Shipyard
• Leading shipyard in Russia
• Built more than 200 vessels since its inception
• Has signed a series of contracts for icebreakers