Going beyond
Nova Zembla

The flag of Wagenborg waves on 77*12N

In an historic milestone for our company, Wagenborg’s new icebreaker ‘Sanaborg’ recently passed Nova Zembla made famous by Dutch arctic explorers Willem Barentz and Jacob van Heemskerk in 1596. Now over four centuries later the Wagenborg flag also waves at 77*12n on this Russian archipelago. 

The Kara Sea is a relatively remote and unexplored area because it is frozen for most of the year. However, because it is suspected that this area might contain oil or natural gas some oil companies have already started exploring there. Recently, the icebreaker ‘Sanaborg’ provided assistance operating as a standby rescue vessel for a seismic survey ship in the Kara Sea.

Royal Wagenborg is one of those companies that has literally been breaking through the ice for decades and exploring the vast potential of the world’s harshest environments. Our ice breaking multipurpose support vessels (IMSV) – ‘Sanaborg’ and ‘Serkeborg’ - are ideally suited for the extreme conditions of the Caspian Sea, Kara Sea, Pechora Sea, Yamal Peninsula, Russia or the Canadian arctic waters.

‘Sanaborg’ and ‘Serkeborg’ are more efficient than the existing vessels because of a new propulsion system and hull design. They also have a decreased draught and beam, which is coupled with an increased length. The two have unique Ice Class thrusters developed together with Wärtsilä and the new Icepod® is suitable for ice milling - washing and breaking the ice. 

The IMSV’s have been developed for operations in ice infested shallow waters and their duties include icebreaking, ice management and towing/ pushing cargo barges. Reefer containers, drilling pipes and other cargo can be transported both on deck and in the hold.

The IMSV’s are ‘double action’ meaning that they can break through the ice whilst sailing in both ahead and astern conditions. Additionally, each vessel has a citadel in order to safeguard crew against the potential effects of gas cloud formation, such as H2S or CH4.

Royal Wagenborg is optimistic about the many possibilities in the North Caspian, Russia and Canadian Arctic, but also realises that it is an extremely difficult and challenging, environmentally sensitive area - often more difficult than the industry thinks. It is essential to take a long-term view and to work closely together - the yards, owners, customers and research institutes - to get the optimal result.