A challenging environment demands specialized units

Fabio Giurato (Branch Director Wagenborg Kazakhstan) and Maarten ten Wolde (Technical Manager Wagenborg Offshore) explain about the recent upgrade to the ice classed drilling support barge ‘Wagenborg 102’.

Wagenborg is one of the pioneering  companies involved in starting up in extremely remote and challenging regions, such as the the Caspian Sea. When a consortium of reputable oil majors, started  investigating the Kashagan field, Wagenborg was asked to provide their expertise which resulted  in a tender which it subsequently won. Fabio explains: “The North Caspian is an extremely environmentally sensitive area, with temperature ranging from minus 40  to plus 40 degrees Celsius Furthermore it is a very shallow  area with water depths ranging from only 1.5 m to 5 m."


However, Wagenborg did not shy away from the challenge. “We knew we had extensive experience and the right knowledge in-house to take on this challenge. This led to the decision to build two dedicated shallow draught ice breaking supply vessels: the ‘Antarcticaborg’ and ‘Arcticaborg’.”, Fabio continued. Wagenborg – which designs nearly all of its vessels itself – specifically designed these vessels for the specific client needs at Kvaerner Masa Yards in Helsinki.


More than almost two decades further, Wagenborg has a substantial presence in Kazakhstan with 20 units operating in the Caspian, including tugs, barges and offshore accommodation units for up to 1.200  people and it can boast an impressive 45,000 hours operating in shallow, ice-infested waters. 

Today, Wagenborg keeps proving to be a client oriented and driven logistic partner in the Caspian. To support the dredging activities of Van Oord in the Prorva Channel, Wagenborg made radically modifications to several units, including the ice classed drilling support barge ‘Wagenborg 102’.

Barge main particulars

Length over all 71.20 metres
Breadth (moulded) 16.40 metres
Breadth over all 16.70 metres
Depth 5.50 metres
Min. operative draught 2.10 metres
Design draught 3.80 metres
Deadweight 2,450 tonnes


Helideck main characteristics

Helicopter type Sikorsky S61 / S92
D value 22.20 metres
Perimeter 'D' marking 22  
Rotor diameter 18.90 metres
Max. weight 12.57 tonnes
'T' value 12.0 tonnes
Landing size net Large  


Maarten explains: “Wagenborg 102 will berth together with the living quarter barge ‘Verdi’ as a mooring station and living quarter. The barge is equipped for liquid and supply storage and is powered by 2 Caterpillar 3408 C  diesel generator sets of 137 kW and one emergency SISU diesel generator set of 32 kW. The barge is equipped with two spud pole installation for a depth of 5 meter and for mooring in deeper waters with 5 Delta Flipper anchors. In order to comply with Van Oord’s and TengizChevronOil’s  request, a helideck has been installed on Wagenborg 102”.


The helideck has been purchased  from Marine Aluminium in Norway and was produced in their production facility in China. Transport of the helideck was arranged in a close cooperation between Wagenborg Projects & Logistics Shanghai and the Wagenborg Kazakhstan Logistic Department. “Early this year four 40 feet containers, containing the helideck, arrived in Aktau Kazakhstan, after which the assembly of the helideck and construction of the helideck support could be executed at the former Keppel shipyard CMOC”, Maarten continues.


During the first quarter of 2016 the supporting structure has been manufactured and together with the helideck installed on board of Wagenborg 102. Next to that, the helideck has been outfitted with lighting, navigation and firefighting equipment. For the firefighting foam monitors and additional fire pump has been installed. Also a three stories high waiting, instruction and change room and helicopter navigation-radio room were made. “Last months have been a rollercoaster, but looking back on his project, I can only conclude it has quite been an outstanding performance to be operational in only 6 months!”, concludes Fabio.