Australian icebreaker Nuyina starts sea trial campaign

Australia’s icebreaker Nuyina has left the Damen Schelde Naval Yard in Vlissingen for sea and deepwater trials on the North Sea. Testing of the ship’s speed, noise, propulsion systems, steering, advanced electrical systems, and science equipment will take place as the ship prepares for final sea ice trials in the Arctic early next year.

The icebreaker and research vessel (yard number 417, imo 9797060), designated as ASRV (Antarctic Supply Research Vessel) 15626, was ordered by Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) with Damen Schelde Naval Shipyard BV on 28 April 2016. The keel was laid in Galati on 8 September 2017 and the hull was floated out on 24 September 2018.

The Nuyina departed from Galati in tow of the Italian m.t. Eraclea (2010 – 1397 GT, 6000 kW) on 2 August and after a difficult towing trip on the Danube, the Nuyina arrived at Sulina on the Black Sea. Finally, the Nuyina was delivered at Vlissingen for final commissioning by DSNS on 28 August.

Technical details of the Nuyina

The polar expedition ship was designed by Danish Naval architect Knud E. Hansen A/S, Helsingør. Technical details of the ASRV 15626 are: 20.828 gt, 8250 dwt 25,400 ton displacement – L.o.a. (p.p.) x B x D (d) = 160.50 (152.00) x 25,60 x 19.20 (9.20) metres. Four dieselgenerators have been installed for diesel-direct or diesel-electric hybrid propulsion of two controllable pitch propellers (2 x 13,300 kW), three bow and three stern thrusters in tunnels (6 x 1300 kW), maximum speed 16 knots, cruising speed 12 knots or 3 knots in 1.65 metres ice.

The bunker capacity is 4330 m3 MDO, range: 16,000 nautical miles and/or endurance 90 days. The work deck has a surface area of 500 m2. Spacious capacity for the transport is available of up to 1200 tons of cargo/6500 m3 or 96 TEU.

For handling equipment and cargo, two knuckle boom cranes with a safe working load (SWL) of 55 and 15 tonnes respectively are available. The deep tank for the transport of fuel has a capacity of 1900 m3. The ship is equipped with a helicopter platform with a surface area of 760 m² and a hangar of 330 m² for 2=two Sikorski S92 or four Eurocopters. Accommodation has been provided for 32 crew members and 116 scientists.

The management of the vessel will be entrusted to DMS Maritime Pte.Ltd. (Serco Australia). The Lloyd’s Register Polar Class 3 classified icebreaker is intended for Australia’s scientific, strategic and ecological interests in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Port of registry becomes Hobart on Tasmania, where the headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Division is located. The Nuyina replaces the research vessel Aurora Australis (1990 – 6574 GT), which has been laid up since 28 March 2020.

The vessel is expected to arrive in its home port of Hobart in mid-2021 to commence Antarctic operations in next year’s Southern Hemisphere summer season.

Picture (top): The Nuyina departed from Vlissingen for comprehensive trials on the North Sea on 24 November. Pictures by Damen.

For detailed information on the ASRV 15626, please read the description of the ship by the late ir R.W. Bos in SWZ|Maritime’s November 2017 issue, pages 22-29.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.