Teekay LNG is breaking new ground in training and equipment, with six LNG carrier newbuildings to deliver cargoes from the Russian Arctic. Karen Thomas visited the company in Glasgow to find out more
Next year, Teekay will start to operate the first ship in its new fleet of icebreaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. Eduard Toll is the first of six Teekay LNG co-owned vessels built to transport cargoes from the Yamal LNG production plant in northern Russia to markets in eastern Asia.
They will make up a fleet of 15 Arc7 ice-class Azipod-propelled LNG carriers that will plough through the Port of Sabetta’s icebound waters to deliver Yamal LNG cargoes all year round.
Teekay expects all of these 172,000 m³, ice-class LNG carriers to be in service in 2020. All are being fitted with advanced ice navigation systems and enlarged and enhanced satellite communications equipment.
Eduard Toll has left the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea and started sea trials on 19 August. It is scheduled to enter service in January.
Teekay expects to take delivery of its second Arc7 ship, Rudolf Samoylovich, in November next year and two more newbuildings are scheduled to enter service in the last six months of 2019 and the final two in January and February 2020.
The six icebreaking LNG carriers face some very specific challenges, when it comes to keeping communications channels open in the remote Arctic waters. Some satellite constellations do not have sufficient coverage in this terrain so Teekay Gas plans to fit larger VSAT antennas on the six icebreaking LNG carriers to tackle potential outages. The ships will also rely on Iridium OpenPort L-band services as a failover communications system for areas of minimal VSAT satellite coverage.
Teekay ships that are operated from the Glasgow office are fitted with VSAT and L-band back-up communications by NSSLGlobal. In comparison, ships operated by Teekay’s Norwegian office have VSAT services from Marlink. VSAT should provide enough communications capacity for voice, email and online applications for the operational and crew networks.
The icebreaking LNG carriers feature Transas integrated bridge systems with multipurpose workstations for ECDIS, conning and radar. Bridge systems also have GMDSS communications, speedlogs, autopilot and bridge alarm systems. There are also specialist propulsion and engine controls as each ship will be fitted with three high-powered Azipod propulsion systems.
Choosing Transas bridge systems means that Teekay has adjusted its simulator training set-up, having previously modelled it on Kongsberg Digital equipment. Teekay used its own Glasgow-based suite of simulators to train LNG carrier crew to navigate Arctic waters.
Teekay has compiled a polar water operating manual that details how ships and crew will operate in Arctic waters. It has used this to set up a training regime that is certified by the ship’s flag state, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, as meeting the requirements of IMO’s Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code.
It has launched a specialist Arctic survival training course for seafarers – the only one outside the Russian Navy. The Eduard Toll and Rudolf Samoylovich crews had training in South Korea, St Petersburg, Russia and Finland.
This training prepares them to navigate Arctic waters, whether sailing westbound from Sabetta to unload transhipment cargoes at Fluxys LNG in Zeebrugge or, in summer, gives the option to navigate the Northern Sea Route over Siberia to deliver cargoes direct to Asia.
Teekay LNG’s Yamal newbuildings
- 6 Arc7 icebreaking LNG carriers
- Built by DSME
- 172,000 m³ LNG capacity
- 34 crew
- Transas bridge systems
- VSAT + Iridium satellite communications
- Eduard Toll on sea trials
- Rudolf Samoylovich due in November
- 2 ships to be delivered in 2019
- 2 more in 2020