Five maritime engineering bachelor students of the Delft University of Technology produced a design for an Arctic modular towing supply vessel (AMTSV) as part of their minor on Arctic Engineering. In cooperation with Dutch shipyard Damen this has now culminated in an offering of a 100m double acting supply ship is capable of operating in the Barents Sea year round and in the Baffin Bay and Beaufort Sea for 8 months.
The vessel actually 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 lay-out of the ship. This means the AMTVS could be classed as such.
The AMTSV has the ability to sail through 1.6m of level ice at 3kn. Research showed this to be an optimal solution, because the shape of an ice bow is completely different compared to an open water bow.
When using two bows no compromises have to be made. Another argument for this concept is that, while sailing through ice, the thrusters will create a flow around the hull which decreases friction.
Because the vessel can sail in both directions, she also has to be capable of towing in both directions. Hence a double acting winch of 300t is installed. This winch is installed inside the accommodation so the harsh weather will not affect it.
There are no compromises on crew conditions as they can 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°C. Temperature sensitive cargo can also be kept in this area.
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 and this means that the centre of gravity is relatively low. Therefore the disadvantage is negated by placing the LNG tanks on top of the ESS.
The project has not officially been implemented yet, however such a possibilities are being researched.