Wagenborg and Niestern Sander to build icebreaking Walk-to-Work vessel

PRESS RELEASE – Shipyard Royal Niestern Sander and Wagenborg Offshore have been contracted to build the world’s first shallow draft icebreaking Walk-to-Work vessel. Following delivery in December 2021, Mercury Sakhalin will operate the vessel on the east coast of Sakhalin for the oil and gas industry.

The contract was awarded to Niestern Sander and Wagenborg by a joint venture between Mercury Sakhalin and Pola.

Acting as an intermediary, Wagenborg Offshore has contributed to the project with its operational experience of sailing in shallow waters with icebreaking vessels in the Caspian Sea, as well as its track record with Walk-to-Work vessels in the Southern North Sea. Royal Niestern Sander provided the design of the vessel.

From -30 to +35 degrees

The vessel is specially designed for year-round operations in the challenging conditions on the east coast of Sakhalin, where temperatures range from -30 to +35 degrees. The ship combines a shallow draught of 3.15 metres, a transit draught of 4.0 metres in open waters and a grounded bottom notation. It will be able to break through ice up to 100 centimetres.

The motion-compensated gangway on this vessel is optimised for both winter and summer operations, resulting in multiple gangway positions. The vessel will perform year-round crew transfer services for up to forty persons from the shallow Nabil Port to offshore platforms near the east coast of Sakhalin. In addition, the vessel can be deployed for oil spill response services.

One of the largest new-build orders for Niestern Sander

This contract is said to be one of the largest new-build orders for Niestern Sander. Various subcontractors and suppliers from the region are involved in the project for engineering, delivering steel, parts of the engine room, navigation and rescue equipment.

As of November 2019, Wagenborg Offshore has already been working together with Mercury Sakhalin in Sakhalin with the ice-breaking support vessel Arcticaborg.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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