Alexey Chirikov (7,487gt), the second multifunctional ice-breaking supply vessel (MIBSV) built for Sovcomflot, was christened and handed over at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard on 19 April. She sailed four days later to join sistership Vitus Bering operating in the Sakhalin Sea, where ExxonNeftegas has its production platform, supplying the rig and keeping it free from shifting ice in the extreme winter conditions, with temperatures dropping to minus 40oC and ice nearly 2m thick.

While Vitus Bering was delivered four months ahead of schedule, Alexey Chirikov met her early April date and Arctech has now fulfilled its first contract worth US$200 million with flying colours. Alexey Chirikov’s naming in Helsinki was deemed so important that the President of Finland attended, along with VIPs from Sovcomflot, Arctech and STX Europe.

The MIBSVs can perform a variety of tasks and have identical specifications: they measure 100m by 22m wide, have 22 crew and the main engines power twin azimuth propeller units. JP


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