USCG Ice breakers


#21

[QUOTE=Tups;177816]tugsailor, most “offshore icebreakers” have nozzles. Even the Swedish icebreaking phenomenon Oden features a similar propulsion system as Aiviq. However, nozzles are known to cause problems (clogging) even in diesel-electric Z-drive ships like Fennica and Nordica, so there’s a definite loss of overall operational capability in difficult ice conditions especially for conventional shaftline ships that cannot “blow” the nozzles open. This is apparent with Oden when she’s being used for escort operations in the Baltic Sea - despite her fame as one of the best icebreakers in the world, she’s better off in operations such as the McMurdo break-in and scientific stuff in the Arctic than cutting icebound ships free on the Swedish coast.

As we all know, the advantage of nozzles is that the vessel has much higher bollard pull in open water for towing and anchor-handling operations. Unless you expect to do a lot of ice management and other challenging operations in difficult ice conditions, you’re better off with ducted propellers. However, in my opinion azimuth thrusters are something you can’t really do without if you want to do serious icebreaking. Perhaps that’s why ECO chose them for the two icebreaking AHTS vessels that it was (is?) building…

As for the icebreaking performance, it’s possible to calculate a rough estimate based on publicly available technical data and a few drawings from Shell’s ice management plan. I might actually have my students use Aiviq in their weekly exercises later this spring. Also, being a new design, it has probably been tested in an ice tank. I would expect that Shell has asked to see the model test report before paying for the vessel.

I, for one, would have wanted to see Aiviq break some ice. When I was up there in 2012, the ice around Kulluk was barely thick enough to walk on.[/QUOTE]

I stand corrected and certainly defer to your expertise on icebreakers.

AIVIQ was so thoroughly discredited by its becoming disabled due to basic design and construction deficiencies during the KULLUK tow, and it’s role in putting KULLUK on the rocks — which became the total constructive loss of the only proven ice capable oil rig available — that it became difficult to say anything good about AIVIQ.

To be fair to AIVIQ — KULLUK on the rocks — occurred most because AIVIQ was incompetently crewed, handled, and managed by Chouest, Shell, and the USCG Incident Command team.

This not only destroyed KULLUK, it also ushered in a U.S. Arctic drilling regulatory regime that was designed to strangle Arctic drilling for the foreseeable future.

It appears that Shell permanently lost confidence in AIVIQ after the loss of KULLUK, but could not admit it. Instead of dispatching AIVIQ to other tasks somewhere in the world where it could prove it’s worth, they kept her tied to the dock for two years where she could not get into any trouble. When Shell returned to the Arctic in 2015, they did not trust AIVIQ to tow the rigs.

As Drillbill pointed out, it appears that Shell was too afraid of another AIVIQ incident to really try her out, and to let her prove herself.

Now she sits at the dock in Seattle again with nothing to do, except to be disposed of.

If Shell had been smart, which it clearly wasn’t, they would have found a way to prove AIVIQ’s capabilities somewhere else in the world under competent management, with a new name and paint job, and they would have washed off most of the taint of the KULUK on the rocks incident before the 2015 drilling season.


#22

While I don’t doubt Aiviq’s icebreaking capability in design conditions, that doesn’t mean I think it’s a very good ship in general. There are some design flaws that are very difficult if not impossible to fix, such as the ship’s tendency to turn the aft deck into a large open-air swimming pool in heavy seas, and the overall hull geometry is not something I’d expect from a 21st century offshore icebreaker.

As for the operational side, I’m not qualified to comment, so I’ll leave it to you guys.

One of the problems with “proving Aiviq’s icebreaking capability” is that unless the crew had previous ice experience, taking the new vessel to difficult ice conditions could have been embarrassing to everyone. Last spring, we took a highly-capable icebreaker to ice conditions that far exceeded the vessel’s design icebreaking capability, and it took a lot of time and trying until the crew learned to use it properly. However, over the course of three weeks the captain of the nuclear-powered icebreaker stopped scolding us and even gave us some praise for doing so much with so little power…

It’s difficult to think of any work for Aiviq now, but I’m quite sure that if an additional icebreaker is needed off Alaska, in today’s world the USCG would prefer calling Edison Chouest instead of the Russians.


#23

I can think of a great many things that would be worth trying for AIVIQ:

Icebreaking on the Great Lakes.

Long ocean tows.

Rescue Towing.

Deep water anchor handling.

Arctic Research.

School ship.

Or some combination of the above.

For example, Shell might offer to partner with the USCG and Great Lakes Maritime Academy to tryout AIVIQ for one winter season providing icebreaker assistance to commercial shipping, and icebreaker training for students and commercial Mariners. The USCG has people who know how to break ice on the Great Lakes, so does commercial shipping. They have been doing it every year for a very long time. There is a continuing need to train people to deal with ice in the Great Lakes. If AIVIQ can do that successful, then continue the training program along with beefed up presence for the USCG and increased Arctic research in the next Arctic summer season. This would allow AIVIQ to demonstrate its capabilities, and if successful, provide a path to intelligent reutilization.


#24

a quick intermezzo in the icebreaker debate inthis thread via this (related) Popular Science article: http://www.popsci.com/arctic-report-tour-inside-norwegian-icebreaker-ship


#25

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;177855]a quick intermezzo in the icebreaker debate inthis thread via this (related) Popular Science article: http://www.popsci.com/arctic-report-tour-inside-norwegian-icebreaker-ship[/QUOTE]

These ships have long served to keep shipping transport routes open in the Arctic. In the mid 1800s, they were powered by steam. In the 1930s, they transitioned to diesel, and in the 1950s, diesel-electric. Today, Russia even has a few nuclear-powered icebreakers.

I don’t have my fancy icebreaker fleet list at hand, but if I remember correctly, the first diesel-powered icebreakers that were not diesel-electric didn’t come around until 1970s or 1980s. As for the nuclear-powered ones, Lenin was commissioned already in 1959, so it’s not today’s invention.

I saw KV Svalbard a few times when I was living on the island it was named after. I wouldn’t call it a “icebreaker tugboat” - it’s an armed offshore patrol vessel with high independent icegoing capability. Furthermore, the “Russian propeller” the article mentions is in fact a pair of ABB Azipod propulsion units made in Finland.


#26

As someone who has very limited knowledge of Ice Breakers, would Aiviq be more expensive to operate on the Great Lakes than the vessels currently in use? It seems that with the extreme cost of construction for this vessel that cheaper alternatives may be available?


#27

Aiviq is considerably larger and more powerful than USCGC Mackinaw, but has about half of the crew (28) of the USCG icebreaker (55). I think one of the key differences might be whether Aiviq’s crew is paid “offshore-level salary” or if they get less than when working in the oil fields. That can make operating the vessel very expensive when compared to smaller “government ship” despite its larger crew.

As for vessel costs, Mackinaw cost $80-90 million in 2005 or so. This is equivalent to $94-106 million in 2012 when Aiviq was built for about $200 million. However, the news report state that a new “heavy Great Lakes icebreaker” would cost about $240 million, equivalent to RV Sikuliaq which again is considerably smaller than the Aiviq but has science stuff that tends to cost a fortune.


#28

[QUOTE=tugsailor;177833]Or some combination of the above.

For example, Shell might offer to partner with the USCG and Great Lakes Maritime Academy to tryout AIVIQ for one winter season providing icebreaker assistance to commercial shipping, and icebreaker training for students and commercial Mariners. The USCG has people who know how to break ice on the Great Lakes, so does commercial shipping. They have been doing it every year for a very long time. There is a continuing need to train people to deal with ice in the Great Lakes. If AIVIQ can do that successful, then continue the training program along with beefed up presence for the USCG and increased Arctic research in the next Arctic summer season. This would allow AIVIQ to demonstrate its capabilities, and if successful, provide a path to intelligent reutilization.[/QUOTE]

MAN! where do you get your drugs? they have got to be serious wicked to warp your mind like that.


#29

Lately, I have been getting whipsawed between overdoses of Bernie and Trump.


#30

[QUOTE=Tups;177916]Aiviq is considerably larger and more powerful than USCGC Mackinaw, but has about half of the crew (28) of the USCG icebreaker (55). I think one of the key differences might be whether Aiviq’s crew is paid “offshore-level salary” or if they get less than when working in the oil fields. That can make operating the vessel very expensive when compared to smaller “government ship” despite its larger crew.

As for vessel costs, Mackinaw cost $80-90 million in 2005 or so. This is equivalent to $94-106 million in 2012 when Aiviq was built for about $200 million. However, the news report state that a new “heavy Great Lakes icebreaker” would cost about $240 million, equivalent to RV Sikuliaq which again is considerably smaller than the Aiviq but has science stuff that tends to cost a fortune.[/QUOTE]

Anything the government touches becomes super expensive. Operating AIVIQ would be no different. The cost of building AIVIQ is a sunk cost that has already been incurred. The considerable operating cost of keeping AIVIQ crewed alongside the dock in Seattle is ongoing. The difference in cost between sitting at the dock in Seattle, or breaking ice in the Great Lakes is: fuel, maintenance, and the government overhead of having the USCG operate the ship.(with absolutely no one from Chouest involved).

Leaving AIVIQ alongside the dock in Seattle only continues to prove that she is useless and worthless. Breaking ice in the Great Lakes should prove whether it is a practical ice breaker, or not. If she is a practical ice breaker, she could probably be leased or sold to the government and stop Shell’s losses.

My fear is that our stupid government might get talked (lobbied) into buying AIVIQ without trying it out and proving its worth. The last thing we need is another taxpayer funded corporate bailout welfare program for Chouest and Shell.


#31

The Canadians are getting a new one in 2022:

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674coast_guard_new_1.3_billion_arctic_icebreaker_to_be_ready_by_2022/

These schedules are ridiculous. Even in Russia, it’s possible to design and build icebreakers with cutting-edge technology within 2-3 years.


#32

How could leasing from the private sector be a “quick fix” if there are no heavy icebreakers available in the market? I mean, if they’re not referring to Aiviq and the two new ships under construction…


#33

the Finnish showing (again) how it’s to be done. Ambitious!

Finland plans expanding its fleet of icebreakers with 7 new ships


#34

I wonder what kind of multipurpose icebreakers they are thinking about now that Shell has abandoned Alaska and Russia has been hit by sanctions.


#35

Philly Shipyard and Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG) is teaming up to deliver design for the future USCG Heavy Polar Icebreaker: http://www.phillyshipyard.com/s.cfm/2-38_71/Philly-Shipyard-Member-of-USCG-Heavy-Polar-Icebreaker-Design-Team

The new icebreaking Research Vessel for Norway’s Polar Institute is also designed and built by Fincantieri/VARD: http://www.imr.no/prosjektsiter/polarforskningsfartoy/en

FYI: VARD is a subsidiary of Fincantieri, but was earlier owned by Aker ASA, same as Philly Shipyard.


#36

VARD is also co-operating with NASSCO in the icebreaker project:

edit: The Norwegian vessel was designed by Rolls-Royce. However, VARD designed the new Chilean icebreaker:


#37

I stand corrected. The designer of the Norwegian vessel is indeed RRM’s NVC design house in Aalesund, with designation NVC 395 POLAR Ship. RRM are also the main supplier of machinery for the vessel: http://subseaworldnews.com/2015/03/27/rolls-royces-propulsion-for-new-polar-research-vessel/

VARD have some input in the actual construction and equipment, although the vessel is built in Italy.

There is a lot of interest in Polar Research Vessels and Heavy Icebreakers around the world.
The three design houses in Aalesund; VARD, RRM/NVC and Skipsteknisk are involved in most of these projects. AKER Arctic in Finland is also a major designer of such vessels.

Here is an article in MotorShip about the various projects: http://www.motorship.com/news101/ships-and-shipyards/a-new-age-of-polar-research


#38

I guess when it comes to polar icebreakers the most important reference for VARD is the Canadian icebreaker CCGS John G. Diefenbaker. They were working on it when they were still STX Canada Marine. They also have the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) in their portfolio.


#39

Fincantieri also closed a deal with Rosneft to build some new kinda vessel in Russia.

https://www.rosneft.com/press/releases/item/182665/

Not really clear whether that would also be an icebreaker.


#40

Not as far as I know. However, Rosneft is building icebreakers with Damen at Zvezda:

http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/200981/zvezda-shipyard-secures-first-orders/

In addition, FESRC and Zvezda Marine Technology, a joint venture of Rosneft and Damen Shipyards Group, signed a project management agreement to build four multifunctional icebreaker supply vessels.