Russian icebreaker to Kirkenes for upgrade

Preparing for seismic mapping in the Barents Sea, the icebreaker "Dikson" is soon heading to Kirkenes, Norway, for upgrades. Photo: Trude Pettersen

The icebreaker “Dikson” will undergo upgrades in Kirkenes, Norway, before heading to the Barents Sea to collect seismic data.


Head engineer in the Sevmorgeo company, Yuri Kuzmin, confirms that the diesel-run “Dikson” will spend 15 days in Kirkenes for the upgrade. Another icebreaker, the “Kapitan Dranitsyn” will undergo a similar upgrade in a yard in Murmansk.

“Why send the vessels all the way to Petersburg, when we can do it all here”, Kuzmin told RIA Novosti. The “Dikson” will stay in Kirkenes in the period 15-29 July. It is expected that the local Kimek yard will be responsible for the operation.

While the “Kapitan Dranitsyn” will engage in mapping of the seabed in order to collect data on the extension of the Russian Arctic shelf, it is expected that the “Dikson” will engage first of all in the collection of seismic data from the formerly disputed waters in the region. As previously reported, Russian authorities last year confirmed that Russian seismic studies would start in 2012.

Norway started the mapping of is part of the newly delimited waters in summer 2011.

The upgrade of the “Dikson” will include the installation of satellite navigation equipment, as well as all necessary equipment for the seismic works, Kuzmin says. The vessel will head to sea at 1 August and return to its home base in late September or early October.

It is the first time Russia uses its diesel-run icebreakers for this kind of operations. For several years, the country has used the “Akademik Fyodorov” research vessel assisted by nuclear-powered icebreakers in connection with shelf extension studies.

The 21-meter long “Dikson” is built by the Finnish Wärtsilä yard in 1983. It has Arkhangelsk as its home port.