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Wednesday, September 23, 2020 

Schottel of Germany has won a contract to supply Dutch yard Royal Niestern Sander with thrusters for a new shallow-draught vessel, a 75.9m long and 14m wide walk-to-work vessel commissioned by a joint venture between the Russian companies Mercury Sakhalin and Pola.

The new vessel is thought to be the first shallow-draught ice-breaking walk-to-work vessel. After delivery in December 2021, Mercury Sakhalin will operate the vessel on the east coast of Sakhalin Island for the offshore oil and gas industry. It will carry an icebreaker 5 class notation. It features an electrically-driven Schottel propulsion package, comprising one 810kW SRP 260 R retractable rudder propeller and one 700lW STT 2 transverse thruster.

Maxim Anatolievich Petrov, GM OOO Mercury Sakhalin, said: “In addition to efficiency and reliability, the most important requirement of thrusters on walk-to-work vessels is precise manoeuvrability. Schottel has already proven the performance of their propulsion units on several other walk-to-work vessels.”

The shallow-draught vessel is specially designed and optimised for year-round operations in the challenging conditions on the east coast of Sakhalin in temperatures ranging from -30 to +35 deg C. It combines a shallow draught of 3.15m, a transit draught of 4m in open waters and can break through ice up to 100cm.

The vessel is equipped with a motion-compensated gangway that can be operated in two positions, while accommodation is provided for 45 service technicians and 15 crew members. This effectively makes it a small floating hotel, able to ensure the safe transfer of service technicians and equipment to offshore facilities. Accordingly, the system design has to meet high comfort standards, aided by the Schottel thrusters.

The vessel will perform year-round crew transfer services from the shallow Nabil Port to offshore platforms near the east coast of Sakhalin. Beyond this, it can be deployed for oil spill response services.

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