Damen introduces Arctic modular towing supply vessel concept


Damen introduces Arctic modular towing supply vessel concept

THE NETHERLANDS -- Last February, five maritime engineering students from Delft University of Technology finished their minor of study in arctic engineering. In cooperation with Damen Shipyards Group and other partners, this project has now resulted, amongst others, in a new Arctic vessel: the Damen AMTSV (Arctic modular towing supply vessel). The 100-m double-acting supply ship is capable of operating in the Barents Sea year round, and in the Baffin Bay and Beaufort Sea for eight months. The AMTSV has the ability to sail through 1.6 m of level ice at 3 knots.

The Toptrack program at Delft University offers students the unique opportunity to organize their own minor of study, and fill it up with master courses. In this particular case, five students organized their own Arctic minor. The Aalto University in Helsinki also offered several courses on ice related to the Arctic, so that group was included in the project.

Five complementary partners

Through the project, industry help was sought, turning the minor into a combined project of shipbuilder Damen, risk management and classification company DNV, Dutch hydrodynamics and nautical research institute Marin and the two universities. The goal: to design a new Arctic offshore support vessel by combining the skills of all partners into a complete view on shipbuilding, from design to delivery.

The project contained three parts. First, a literature study was carried out, to get an overview of the environment, the market and the geography in the Arctic, and to create an operational profile for the vessel. Second, a comparison study was held, testing three existing Damen vessels on their Arctic capabilities. The third stage consisted of a ship design, combining the experiences of the Arctic Minor Team into one innovative concept, launched January 31, 2013.

Two bows

The AMTSV is capable of operating in Arctic waters for eight to 12 months, depending on the specific region. The vessel has two bows; when she sails through open water the accommodation will be in the front. Through ice however, she will sail with her thrusters first. The “stern first” concept is not new in arctic shipping. However, in this case it’s a veritable “double-bow” vessel, a concept which is incorporated in the structural layout of the ship, meaning the AMTVS can be classed as such.

The AMTSV can handle up to 1.6 m of level ice at a speed of 3 knots. Because the vessel can sail in both directions, she also has to be capable of towing in both directions. Hence, a double-acting 300-tonne winch was installed. The winch is installed inside the accommodation, where it is protected from the harsh weather.

Through the design, the ship’s crew will work in the enclosed superstructure (ESS) located behind the conventional superstructure. This superstructure can be kept up above zero degrees, with an outside temperature of -55 degrees. The ESS is not only useful for the crew, but temperature-sensitive cargo can also be kept in this area.

External LNG storage

This Arctic concept vessel will be running on LNG, with dual-fuel engines, in an effort to make it more environmentally friendly. The main disadvantage of LNG is that it requires a lot of storage capacity. However, ice-strengthened vessels have a lot steel weight in the hull compared to open water vessels, meaning that the center of gravity is relatively low. This disadvantage is negated by placing the LNG tanks on top of the ESS.

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