One of the Edison Chouest Offshore vessels is the 2012 built icebreaking anchor handling tug supply vessel AIVIQ.
During July 2009, Edison Chouest Offshore won a $150 million contract for the construction of an icebreaking anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel for Royal Dutch Shell. The 110 metre vessel, largest ever built by the company, would be used to support Shell’s drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea off Alaska. In January 2010, it was announced that the vessel would be constructed in Louisiana. The hull and the superstructure would be built in the company’s own shipyard North American Shipbuilding in Larose in two separate units while the final assembly of the vessel would take place at LaShip, also owned by Edison Chouest, in Houma. In all, the construction would take just over two years and provide work for about 800 people.
She was laid down on 3rd February 2010 with yard no as Hull 247 and was presented to Shell executives on 30th September 2011 and was launched on 1st November 2011.
Back to 27th December 2012, while she was towing the mobile offshore drilling unit KULLUK off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska, the towing line between the icebreaker and the drilling rig parted due to a mechanical failure of the towing bridle. Shortly after the tow had been regained, the main engines of AIVIQ failed and the vessel lost propulsion power in 6 metre swell. In the following morning, power was successfully restored on one of the four main engines and the vessel was able to hold position in the heavy weather. United States Coast Guard cutter USCGC ALEX HALEY WMEC-39 was dispatched to the scene to monitor the situation.
Since 2016, Davie Shipbuilding has offered AIVIQ together with other out-of-work offshore icebreakers to the Canadian Coast Guard as a replacement for the 1969 commissioned CCGS LOUIS S.ST-LAURENT. However, reports indicated that the Canadian Coast Guard was not interested in the vessel.
After years of lay up, she was chartered by Australian Antarctic Division to support Davis Station refuelling and other Antarctic missions during the 2021–2022 season as seen in all images here taken late December 2021 south of Hobart, Tasmania.
Photos by our correspondent Mr. Glenn Towler. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Wednesday 12th January, 2022.