DNV GL has surveyed and, together with the Danish Maritime Authority, confirmed that the AHTS Magne Viking, owned by Viking Supply Ships, is in compliance with the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code.
The goal of the Polar Code, expected to enter into force on January 1, 2017, is to provide for safe ship operation and the protection of the polar environment by addressing risks present in polar waters and not adequately mitigated by other instruments.
Magne Viking is an ice-classed anchor handling tug and supply (AHTS) vessel capable of operations in harsh environment offshore regions, as well as Arctic/Sub-Arctic operations.
“Having followed the development of the Polar Code for some years, it is a great achievement to finally survey the first vessel to comply with the Code,” says Morten Mejlænder-Larsen, responsible for Arctic and Polar activities at DNV GL – Maritime.
According to DNV GL, Viking Supply Ships decided to implement the IMO Polar Code early on and the process has included updates of vessel and equipment, as well as providing the required documentation.
“As this vessel was already winterized and built for operation in cold climate, most of the additional requirements in the Polar Code were already fulfilled before we started the implementation process,” says Andreas Kjøl, Project Director at Viking Supply Ships.
The IMO Polar Code is mandatory for all SOLAS vessel entering Arctic and Antarctic waters from January 1, 2017. The Code is an add-on to existing IMO codes where the main requirements are related to safety (SOLAS) and protection of the environment (MARPOL). DNV GL will, on behalf of the Flag Authorities, issue the Polar Ship Certificate for vessels complying with the new code.
As a result of less ice and easier access to polar waters, IMO saw the need for a common set of minimum requirements for vessels operating in these areas which are not covered by other regulations.
In addition, DNV GL explained, increased shipping to support the oil and gas industry, mineral export, and an expansion of cruise visits to these regions, prompted IMO’s work with the code.