Aberdeen-based electrical and marine engineering firm, C&M Group, has awarded a major conversion contract to A&P Tyne Ltd. in Hebburn on the south side of the river Tyne.
The UK ship-repairers will undertake the conversion of the Ice Maiden I -- a 14,000 tonne former Russian Class ice-breaker -- into a DP3 flotel accommodation
Once completed, she will be the only mono hull vessel of its type and capability, accommodating almost 400 people and able to operate anywhere in the world.
The multi-million pound contract has been awarded by the C&M Group on behalf of the vessel's owners, Silters.
Initial preparations for the vessel's conversion took place in Alabama, USA but after a comprehensive review, C&M decided to move to A&P Tyne to ensure delivery by the end of 2008.
The vessel is due to be brought to the Tyne by the heavy lift cargo vessel Fairstar Fjord where the main part of the conversion will be undertaken.
Jim Eccles, a marine engineer with over 30 years experience joined C&M towards the end of 2007 to project manage the major conversion. Highly regarded in the marine industry, Mr Eccles is a mechanical engineer, a member of the Institute of Marine Engineers and an Incorporated Engineer of the Engineering Council.
Commenting on the vessel, Mr Eccles says: "This is a challenging project and A&P Tyne have the necessary experience in complex marine conversions.
"The Ice Maiden 1 is an out-standing concept and C&M is to be congratulated for their courage and ambition in taking on a project of this scale. Despite the slippage in timescales, the Ice Maiden 1 will be a unique accommodation vessel with ice-breaking capabilities. Ice Maiden 1's earning potential will be highly significant for the Group."
The project will require the fitting of some 1400 tonnes of new accommodation block steel work, accommodation for 399 people which include all the necessary services to support the personnel to be carried.
There will be a further 1900 tonnes of steel work fabricated and fitted to form new decks and machinery spaces. 8 new generating sets will be fitted to power 8 new thrusters giving the vessel full DP3 dynamic positioning capability.
When completed the vessel will be the first of her type to be fully Ice Classed and will be capable of operating in conditions of minus 40 deg Celsius.
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