SeaQuest wins first ever commercial Polar Code/Ice Class bulk carrier newbuild project

SeaQuest Marine Project Management (SeaQuest) has been appointed to oversee the construction of the first purpose built +100,000dwt Polar Code compliant ice-class bulk carriers. Estonian ship owner Platano Eesti selected the newbuilding technical consultants and project managers SeaQuest following a rigorous process to identify the most reliable and experienced partner for this technically challenging project.

SeaQuest has been involved in the project since the initial phases, assisting the owner with contractual technical negotiations, manufacturers selection and plan approval. Construction will commence in March 2018 in CSSC Shanghai Shipyard, and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2019. The new 107,000dwt Polar-Code compliant vessel will incorporate innovative features to make it commercially competitive for the owner all year round – operating in and out of Arctic waters.

Maxim Romce, Managing Director of Platano Eesti, said: “The Arctic offers new opportunities and now is the time to embrace them, but there are challenges and this is why innovative thinking is required. Our aim is to build a vessel that will outperform those currently trading in the Arctic area, whilst still remaining competitive on conventional operating routes. Taking into consideration the fact that the Arctic area, and its port infrastructure, is still not sufficiently developed, we have strategically decided to equip the vessel with cranes and grabs; to assist the local shippers in maximising their export efficiency. With respect to the sensitivity of the area, we were absolute to exceed all envronmental regulations and are adopting the latest solutions to minimise environmental and safety risks and the vessel’s carbon footprint, ensuring reduced fuel consumption, effective route planning and reliable communication in polar waters.

“SeaQuest has extensive experience, thinks outside the box and is quality orientated with a world-class track record. SeaQuest has identified all technical issues, particularly those related to design efficiency, EEDI, fuel consumption and Polar Code / Ice Class compliance, negotiating on our behalf with the shipyard and class and adapting the vessel to our specifications. We look forward to working with them over the next two years.”

The vessel will be 250 metres in length, have a hold capacity of 130,000 m3, feature advanced marine technology for navigation in arctic waters with and without ice breaker assistance and will be equipped to load and discharge on its own. The vessel will comply with DNV GL’s Ice Class IACS PC (6), Polar Code B and be optimised for ice navigation.

SeaQuest Technical Manager in charge of this project, Vittorio Portunato, commented: “Our biggest challenge is to design a vessel which needs to be commercially and operationally efficient in both Arctic and open international waters and to overcome the contradictions of the relevant requirements, e.g. installed power, propulsion efficiency, manoeuvrability.”

SeaQuest has been involved in the supervision of almost 300 vessels and each project is approached in a methodological way, from the early stages in technical negotiations to design development and construction thanks to company’s ISO 9001 cetified Quality Management System.