The Polar Class Module Carriers AUDAX and PUGNAX were built for a unique service; year-round transportation of ultra-heavy construction modules for the Yamal LNG plant which is located near Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula, 4 degrees north of the Arctic Circle. The average- and winter conditions in the Russian Arctic, especially the Ob Bay area, are extremely harsh. Dedicated Vessels were essential to provide the Client the required year-round module transportation service in these challenging conditions. The unique design of the sister vessels AUDAX and PUGNAX is jointly developed by Aker Arctic Technology and RED BOX Energy Services.
A special custom/one-off hull shape has been engineered to ensure the Vessels can perform reliable module transportation in Arctic conditions within a limited timeframe. The requirement for stern-to loadout and discharge operations made a conventional hull shape or double acting ships (sailing a-stern in ice) design impossible. With the aid of CFD calculations and model testing at Aker Arctic's own test basin, the unique hull shape for the Vessels was developed.
With the CFD analysis a new ice bow was designed specifying icebreaking capacities to 1.5 meters of level ice. Results of the performed tests demonstrated the Vessels design exceed the minimum required performance. Furthermore, in close cooperation with DNV-GL the Vessels obtained Polar Class 3 (PC-3) approval. In addition, two special studies were done by DNV-GL and the CNIIMF to proof compliance with ARC-7 Class, the Russian equivalence of PC-3.
The bow design of the 43 meter (141 foot) wide Vessels enables them to break ice up to 1.5 meters (5 foot) thick, independently. AUDAX and PUGNAX can cope with temperatures of -50°C (-58°F) and still navigate safe and reliable during the 9-months ice coverage period in the Arctic, including the challenging polar nights which last for two months annually.
Both Vessels were delivered early 2016 and have, since then, profoundly navigated around the clock; AUDAX and PUGNAX delivered 48 modules at the Yamal Peninsula while safe navigating 30.000 mile through ice covered waters.
In March 2017, Aker Arctic and RED BOX jointly assessed the performance of AUDAX, when the Vessel sailed from the Yamal Peninsula to Zeebrugge (Belgium). The overall performance of the AUDAX was impressive, performing well-above its specifications in both ice breaking conditions as well as in modules loading- and discharge operations.
AUDAX and PUGNAX are one of the largest icebreaking Vessels in the world. Combining these icebreaking capabilities with a unique module transportation approach, RED BOX created an extraordinary Logistic Service to serve large-scale Energy Infrastructure projects in Arctic Regions. The additional special features of the Vessels which includes deck heating and internal ballast transfer make efficient transportation and cargo operations in extreme harsh environments feasible.