A major part of world’s oil and gas reserves are located in Arctic and Subarctic seas, such as Sakhalin fields in Okthosk Sea as well in Chuchki Sea, Beaufort Sea Alaska. Year around operations in these areas results increasing need for special designed icebreaking offshore support vessels and tankers. Important characteristic of these vessels is the capability in ice managent duties.
Azimuth thruster offers great flexibility in different ice management using the thruster wake and propeller close contact with ice. Electric propulsion with Azipod propulsors has been used in such vessels with good success for many years and the system itself has shown to be reliable and very good characteristics when operated in ice. In Sakhalin region there has accumulated experience from 7 icebreaking vessels with ABB electric propulsion many equipped with Azipods. Recently two new icebreaking vessels with Azipod have been built for Arkutun-Dagi field. Electric Azipod propulsion system have been playing an important part in several arctic ship projects making the demanding projects technically and economically feasible. In this paper will be presented characteristics as well some full-scle test results where Azipod units are used in ice management type operations.