Friday, January 6, 2017


Sovcomflot’s (SCF) Arctic shuttle tanker, ‘Shturman Albanov’, has become the first vessel to receive a Polar Ship Certificate. 
This certificate confirmed the vessel's compliance with the requirements of the Polar Code, which took effect this week. It was issued by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) on 22nd December, 2016.

’Shturman Albanov’ is the lead ship in a series of Arctic shuttle tankers ordered by SCF under a long-term contract with Gazprom Neft. They are designed to carry crude oil from the Yamal Peninsula (YNAD) to Murmansk all year round.

Each tanker is of about 42,000 dwt. RS had assigned the vessels an ice class - Arc7.

She flies the Russian flag and is registered at St Petersburg. Her technical characteristics are claimed to be unique, as the vessel’s design takes into account the specific features found in the Gulf of Ob, where some areas are relatively shallow – about 10 m deep – and which is covered with ice from October to July.

‘Shturman Albanov’ is capable of operating in the Arctic at temperatures down to –45 deg ?. Her propulsion system consists of two ABB Azipod thrusters with a total capacity of 22 MW, which provide a high ice-breaking capability and good manoeuvrability in sailing through ice drifts and heavy ice fields.

She was built and operated under the RS technical supervision. RS class notation is KM (*) Arc7 AUT1-ICS OMBO LI CCO ECO-S BWM(?) BLS-SPM Oil tanker (ESP) CSR.

Konstantin Palnikov, RS director general, said: “In a technical sense, the tanker meets the highest requirements of safe navigation in the Arctic seas. Application of the RS rules allowed to comply with the Polar Code requirements as early as the design stage, due to the fact that our requirements correspond to the Polar Code provision in advance.

“ Thus, the ships having Arc7 in their class notation correspond to the Category A of the Code in respect of compliance with the requirements to hull structure, machinery installation, intact stability and damage stability,” he said.

Polar Code compliance is a pre-condition for ships operated in the Barents Sea, Cara Sea water area south of 60 deg S and in other seas included in Polar waters. The Polar Ship Certificate confirms the ship's compliance with the Code requirements related the safe navigation - for example, the ability of the ship's hull to withstand severe temperatures and ice conditions, anti-ice arrangements, the ability of ship's navigation systems and communication systems to provide the ship with the required information at the high latitudes.

In addition, RS has completed research on the preparation of proposals regarding procedures for the development of the Polar Water Operational Manual (PWOM) for the RS classed ships, the contractor being Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping (SUMIS).

The PWOM must now be available on board in compliance with the Polar Code. To assist shipowners, a detailed structure and the requirements to the content of the manual have been developed within the framework of the research, provided with recommendations for each section.

A list of the ice navigation risks and the measures for their prevention and the minimisation of their negative impact was compiled, based on the analysis of ships’ operating experience in polar waters.

The practical significance of the research work was discussed by experts at the Scientific and Technical Council Section ‘Human element problems’, including the representatives of shipowners and ship operators, as well as the maritime educational institutions providing the personnel training for the industry.

SUMIS presented its recommendations on the PWOM preparation in full compliance with the Polar Code requirements in October, 2016 at the conference ‘Polar Code and Safety of Ice-going Ships’, organised in co-operation with SCF.

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