Shuttle tankers being built for SCF to LR’s first stern-first ice class rule

Three Arc 7 shuttle oil tankers being built at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard at Geoje in South Korea and contracted to the Russian operator Sovcomfl ot are the first newbuild vessels to comply with LR’s provisional rules for the classification of stern-first ice class ships.

The 42,000 dwt ships, which are dual classed to LR and the Russian Register, will be purpose-built for year-round shuttle operations exporting oil from the Novoportovskoye oilfield in northern Russia via Ob Bay in Russia’s polar area.

Their ships’ design is notable for its widebeam, shallow draught configuration with twin-podded propulsion units and a bow-loading system for offshore loading in Ob Bay’s shallow waters. Compliance with the requirements of the Russian Northern Sea Route Administration (NSRA) will ensure a specification of sufficient ice strength for the likely environmental conditions the ships will encounter in year-round operations in Ob Bay and the Kara and Barents seas.

Compliance with LR’s provisional rules’ requirements will ensure the ships reflect best practice for stern-first operation in ice including, for example, appropriate extents of stern shoulder ice strengthening, best practices for navigation bridge watch layout and visibility and consistent interpretations of international regulations when operating stern-first in ice – as the first newbuilds to comply with LR’s stern-first ice class notation.

Delivery of the first shuttle tanker is due in Q3 2016.

CGI artic shuttle
CGI of one of the shallow draft Arctic tankers.