Argentina approves funds for a new polar ship, to be built with Finnish consultants
The Argentine government has approved funds for the design and construction of a new polar ship to complement the activities of the ARA icebreaker Almirante Irizar in its task of supplying the thirteen Argentine Antarctic bases. Work and design will be undertaken by state-owned Tandanor shipyard and Finnish consultancy Aker Arctic, with allocated funds totaling 69 million Argentine pesos (approximately $6.5 million) and 7 million euros.
The project, which took off in 2014, aims to deliver to the Argentine Navy a cargo and fuel transport ship, capable of navigating in Antarctic waters, complementing the tasks of the icebreaker Almirante Irizar, which during its renovation was converted into a multipurpose vessel with a strong emphasis on scientific research.
Tandoor shipyard president engineer Miguel Tudino said that “with Aker Arctic we have agreed on the basic engineering to be jointly developed, since the Finnish consulting company is responsible for the design of almost 85% of the existing polar ships, while she was in a common office in Tandanor. we will address the electrical and electronic issues of the project”
“We estimate that the basic engineering will take us around fourteen months, but we will also progress on the technical aspects since the vessel will be entirely built in Tandanor, a process which may take another fifteen months, and as we go receive the funds, we can move forward with the construction for which we have a period of five years,” Tudino added.
The renovation and modernization of the Almirante Irizar was “an important step for Tandanor since we have become a first class shipyard, and with the laboratories, it has become a multi-purpose ship; the new polar vessel with the increased capacity of Argentina to more efficiently supply our Antarctic bases”
Tudino said Tandanor is currently completing an aluminum pontoon with two outboard motors to facilitate the offloading of containers from polar vessels, and we expect to have it completed within a few weeks. One of the Auxiliary Ships in the Antarctic Campaign could deliver it to the icebreaker to start using.
The polar vessel that will be built with the Finnish consultants will be a “Polar Class 4”, (PC4) which allows it to navigate freely along the northern Antarctic Peninsula, with access to the Belgrano II base, southeast of Weddell Sea, some 1,300 kilometers from the South Pole, especially in the event of a replacement for Almirante Irizar.
The new vessel is designed to be 131.5 meters long, 23.6 meters wide and have a draft of eight meters, making 16 knots on the high seas and 2 knots in compacted ice up to one meter deep. thickness. It will have a range of 15,000 nautical miles with its two engines running at 85% of their power.
It will be able to accommodate a crew of 105 people, plus 25 Air Force experts for the maintenance of two helicopters in the hangar and sixty passengers involved in scientific research or the maintenance of Antarctic bases.
A major change according to Tudino is that the new ship will operate with container logistics, which will speed up the unloading of supplies and the collection of trash and waste to be returned to the mainland.
Finally, Tudino stressed that the Argentina of this century must emphasize its projection on the sea, protecting its renewable and non-renewable resources throughout its ocean territory. “We must have the perspective of an Argentina turned towards the South Atlantic and its islands, and towards Antarctica with a bicontinental vision. It is strategic for the exercise of our sovereign rights and the future of the sustainable development of our country”.