Safety is Seapeak’s top priority at sea

Seapeak, one of the world’s largest marine energy transportation companies, has allocated their six Arc7 LNG carriers with ice-breaking capabilities to the Yamal LNG project.

The Yamal LNG project produces natural gas at the Yamal Peninsula in Russia’s Far North above the polar circle and the gas needs to be delivered to customers in Europe and China. Due to the location of the Russian port of Sabetta extensive navigation skills of the officers are required to handle the vessels in the severe icy environment.

“Specific training of our officers is a crucial element for Seapeak as safety is our top priority”, Sara Celini, Training Officer at Seapeak states. “There is a necessity for consistent training within the industry and we needed to address a training gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a prompt way. Luckily FORCE Technology were hands on and provided exactly what we asked for.”

“In this exceptional environment it is vital to Seapeak that the vessels make it to the destination and back again returning the crew safely to their families, and FORCE Technology plays an important part in that”, Sara Celini points outs.

Tailor made courses match real life operation

The ship handling simulator course was tailored to match Seapeak’s specific needs to cover the actual conditions of operation in the ultra-harsh conditions around the Northern Sea Route.

“We have a whole range of various vessels at our disposal in our ship handling simulator training facility, as the optimum training and learning happens when the officers simulate handling their actual vessel in the exact surroundings and climatic environment”, Carl Thue Rabjerg, Senior Specialist and Captain at FORCE Technology explains. “We also tailor the ship handling courses to match with the exact ports of operation for the customer”.

Seapeak - shiphandling course in ice navigation
Seapeak officer at tailormade ship handling course at FORCE Technology’s simulation facilities

The officers and the training unit of Seapeak are happy to utilise the FORCE Technology simulator facilities. “We cannot get any more realistic and we have never had this before,” Sara Celini continues. “FORCE Technology has incorporated our Arc7 vessels, POD manoeuvring and the specific ports into the port training programme. This really enhances the training scenarios and learning outcomes for our officers and masters that they can simulate operations in the exceptional environment at e.g., the icy port of Sabetta”, Sara Celini adds.

The simulator course included ice navigation with PODs at operating harbours.

Simulator ship handling course secures flexibility and potential future promotions

Seapeak has a set of criteria of port training that the officers must complete.

“Without the training from FORCE Technology it may have impacted our flexibility within the Yamal fleet in terms of knowledge and competency and affected potential future promotions of our staff as they may not have had the option to attain their next rank”, Sara Celini, Training Officer at Seapeak ends.

The future demands more highly trained officers for the Northern Sea Route

Due to their specific ice breaking capabilities, vessels from e.g., the port of Sabetta are now able to reach Asia via the Northern Sea Route a lot faster compared to using the conventional route through the Suez Canal.

Hence, more shipping companies will use this route in the future making the need for ship handling in icy waters larger than ever.