Innovative Icebreaker Ob Gets Ready for Sabetta Port

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On 21 June 2018, Vyborg Shipyard officially launched the type Aker Arc124 (type 232) icebreaker Ob built for Atomflot State Corporation.

This ship is unique since it is equipped with exclusive equipment which has no equivalents in the world fleet.

Mission and Specifications of the Type Aker Arc124 Icebreaker

The port icebreaker Ob is mainly designed to support winter navigation in ports and provide icebreaker assistance for heavy-tonnage vessels in ice conditions. However, the typeAker Arc124 motor ship can be considered multipurpose since it is capable of transporting cargoes, towing and even responding to oil spills.

Type Aker Arc124 icebreaker Ob / Korabel.ru


  • LOA: 89.2 m
  • BOA: 21.9 m
  • Draught: 7.5 m
  • Deadweight (with regard to cargo carried at maximum draught): min. 2000 t
  • Speed in open water: 15 knots
  • Crew capacity: 18 (plus 12 additionally)
  • Icebreaking capability: 1.5 m
Type Aker Arc124 icebreaker Ob / Korabel.ru

The icebreaker is equipped with innovative propulsion system located forward and aft to provide for effective maneuvering and performance of specific missions.

The detailed design of the icebreaker is developed by Aker Arctic Technology Inc (Finnish Design Bureau), and detailed design documentation is developed by Baltsudoproekt Central Design Bureau jointly with Vympel Design Bureau. For reference: the motor ship was launched on 27 September 2016.


As was said by Aleksander Soloviyev, CEO of Vyborg Shipyard , the icebreaker is equipped with Wärtsilä 31 engine added to the Guinness Book of Records as being the world's most effective 4-stroke diesel engine. It is known that the weight of this plant can be 56 to 85 t, depending on the number of cylinders (8, 10, 12, 14 and 16). Length is 6 to 9 m at width of approximately 3.5 m. Power also varies with the number of cylinders.

Depending on fuel used, each cylinder provides the engine with 550 to 610 kW. The icebreaker is equipped with three 4880 kW medium-speed diesel generators and one 800 kW medium-speed diesel generator.

Among main contractors are ABB, Wartsila, VNIIR-Progress and many others. ABB manufactured and delivered four independent Azipod ABB Ice-1400 electric podded azimuth thrusters with capacity of approximately 3 MW each. In addition to azimuth thrusters, the company was responsible for automation systems on board the icebreaker.

Our editorial office decided to ask for comments from ABB representatives on cooperation with the shipyard with respect to type 232 ship:

"For icebreaker Ob to be operated in the Gulf of Ob, in 2017 ABB provided the propulsion system consisting of four Azipod® ICE propulsion plants, Onboard DC grid™ ship's DC electric power generation system, automation systems and turbochargers of the latest generation.

The Azipod® propulsor is fitted on board more than 80 icebreakers and ice class ships in the world and has repeatedly proved its unique nature and reliability – 15.000.000 running hours accrued since it was first installed in 1990.

ABB azipod on board icebreaker Ob / Korabel.ru

Azipod® is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull. Propulsors may be rotated through 360 degrees to provide better manoeuvrability as compared to conventional propulsion systems; the icebreaker equipped with Azipod azimuth thrusters is capable of making a channel in ice conditions much more effectively than a ship fitted with conventional shafting.

The Onboard DC grid™ ship's DC electric power generation system combines the advantage of the variable current component and energy distribution via a single DC circuit. Similar to a motor equipped with a variable-frequency drive, this ship's network allows the diesel engines to operate at variable speed and save fuel at any load.

Thanks to combination of these ABB innovative technologies and equipment, the icebreaker Ob is able to operate in severe ice conditions with maximum maneuverability and fuel efficiency. The ARC7 ice class assigned to the ship provides all-year independent icebreaking operations in close floating first-year ice.

ABB propulsion system on board icebreaker Ob / Korabel.ru

VNIIR-Progress provided the following equipment for the icebreaker Ob:
- 400 V 4800 A automated MSB
- 230 V 1000 A MSB
- 400/230 V 1500 A emergency switchboard (ESB)
- Propulsion motor control centres (MCC)
- Set of power and lighting switchboards
- Set of starters, control and alarm boards
- Set of 24 VDC and 230 VAC 40 kVA UPS
- Set of 110 kW pump electric drive control frequency converters
- Set of 630 kVA power transformers

As was highlighted by the VNIIR-Progress press-office, all products delivered to the ship are certified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

As for the navigation system, the icebreaker Ob is fitted with the navigation system by Tranzas.

Responsibility for cozy comfort on board the icebreaker is with RAPS Marine Furniture Centre which signed a contract with Vyborg Shipyard for supply of all marine furniture starting with cabins and galley to provision stores. As was emphasized by CEO of RAPS, Vyborg Shipyard is one of the company's key Customers, and the staff is proud of such a cooperation, particularly, under such an innovative project as the type Aker Arc124 icebreaker Ob.

Launching Ceremony

The ceremony was scheduled for 12:00. By this time, the Vyborg Shipyard outfitting quay was full of guests and spectators. In addition to the yard staff, the launching ceremony was attended by representatives of the Leningrad region government and suppliers which actively participated in construction of the icrebreaker.

Aleksander Soloviyev, CEO of Vyborg Shipyard, was the first to make a congratulatory speech: "We've walked a long way towards this day. The type 232 ship is to complete challenging and important missions in Arctic, in the port of Sabetta through assisting port operations. This icebreaker is a new innovative ship. It is fitted with advanced equipment which will be partially operated for the first time".

Opening the icebreaker Ob launching ceremony / Korabel.ru

Then Mustafa Kashka, First Deputy CEO of Atomflot rose to speak stressing that it is the fifth ship of the port fleet constructed to the company's order. It is the largest ship among the others and the most interesting from engineering perspective.

Mustafa Kashka, First Deputy CEO of Atomflot / Korabel.ru

Sergey Farafonov, adviser to USC president, Reko-Antti Suojanen, CEO of Aker Arctic, Vyacheslav Shatalov, CEO of Vympel Design Bureau, Mikhail Kuteev, Head of the RS Baltic Branch Office made their congratulatory speeches. The last speaker noted the efforts of Vyborg Shipyard's designers and good workmanship of the leading icebreaker
by handing over the Ship Launching Availability Certificate to CEO of the shipyard.

Maria Nuzhdinova, Staff and Communications Manager, Atomflot State Corporation, icebreaker Ob sponsor / Korabel.ru
Icebreaker Ob launching ceremony / Korabel.ru

What comes next?

It is worth noting that the icebreaker Ob was already launched in the process of construction, but the full-scale launching to be followed by further outfitting was scheduled by the shipyard management for 22 June. The motor ship availability is
currently estimated to 75%. It is known that Atomflot is going to operate the icebreaker Ob in the port of Sabetta to assist navigation of LNG tankers in the approach channel and in the water area of the port.

Vyborg Shipyard was already baptized the leading shipyard in construction of non-atomic icebreakers. The icebreaker Aleksander Sannikov is ready for flag raising, while the icebreaker Andrey Vilkitsky is being actively outfitted. Vyborg Shipyard is running at its full capacity according to the best shipbuilding practices.

The type Aker Arc124 icebreaker Ob is expected to be handed over to Atomflot in spring 2019. So prepare your berths, Sabetta and Novatek, to meet a new icefighter in the water area of the port very soon!

[For more photos, see below]

Инновационный ледокол "Обь" готовится к Сабетте?

Перевод предоставлен "ТТП Маринес"

"ВНИИР-Прогресс", АО
+7 (812) 327-51-94
"Атомфлот", ФГУП
+7 (8152) 553-355
"Центр Судовой Мебели РАПС", ООО Санкт-Петербург
+7 (812) 331-45-54
"Выборгский судостроительный завод", ПАО Выборг
+7(81378) 2-64-32
"Транзас Навигатор", ООО Санкт-Петербург
+7 (812) 325-31-31
"Конструкторское бюро по проектированию судов "Вымпел", АО Нижний Новгород
"ABB", Ltd Москва

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