Asia’s First Two Arctic Icebreakers
Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd (Keppel Singmarine) has completed Asia’s first two icebreakers, built for one of the harshest marine frontiers on Earth, the Arctic sea for client, LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft (LUKOIL).
Mr Charles Foo, Chairman of Keppel Singmarine, said “This is the first time that icebreakers meant for the Arctic region have been built in the tropics. It also marks Keppel Singmarine’s entry into the oil and gas market in the Arctic region.”
The second vessel was named Varandey by Mrs Lyudmila Velikova, wife of Mr Victor Velikov, Deputy General-Director of LUKOIL at a Russian-themed ceremony at Marina at Keppel Bay today. The first icebreaking vessel, Toboy, was delivered to LUKOIL in August this year.
Varandey will join Toboy in the Barents Sea of Russia where they will help forge passages through the ice for oil tankers plying the Varandey Terminal.
Both Varandey and Toboy are designed to work in the harshest environments, cutting through solid ice over 1.7m thick, equivalent to the height of a grown man, and operating in extreme temperatures as low as -45oC.
According to the latest United States Geological Survey, it is estimated that the Arctic may hold as much as 90 billion barrels of undiscovered oil reserves and 1,670 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This is equivalent to as much as 13% and 30% of the world’s total undiscovered oil and natural gas respectively.
Icebreaking vessels have to work in extreme conditions, complying with strict operating standards to ensure performance and safety. Both Varandey and Toboy are built in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, and are customized in accordance with the owner’s stringent requirements and superior technical specifications.
Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) group’s relationship with Russia dates back to the 70s when Keppel Shipyard and Keppel FELS serviced various owners in shiprepair and ship conversion, and offshore rig construction and repair respectively.
Keppel Singmarine is the specialized shipbuilding arm of Keppel O&M group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation Limited. LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft is a subsidiary to LUKOIL Oil Company, a Russian oil company with main activities in oil and gas exploration and production and sale of petroleum products. LUKOIL-Kaliningradmorneft is engaged in marine towing, handling of crude oil and petroleum products, fabrication of mobile drilling rigs, production of LPG and marketing of LUKOIL-produced fuels and lubricants.