APRIL 16, 2013 — The Finnish Transport Agency has signed a contract with Aker Arctic Technology Oy for the design of a new icebreaker.
Aker Arctic, in cooperation with ILS Oy, will design the vessel and prepare the technical documents needed to put out a tender to shipbuilders for its construction in compliance with the performance requirements for the vessel, and will assist the Finnish Transport Agency in negotiations with shipyards later this autumn.
The Government of Finland has already taken a decision in principle to procure a new icebreaker; and 125 million euro has been earmarked for its construction by winter 2016.
The icebreaking capacity of the new icebreaker will meet the same parameters as the Urho-class icebreaker.
Its diesel-electric machinery will enable it to move continuously through about 1.6 m thick level ice, to break a 25 meter wide channel in 1.2 meter thick ice at speed of 6 knots, as well as to reach 9 to 11 knots of average assistance speed in the Baltic Sea.
The draft of the vessel with full fuel tanks should be a maximum 8 m, which enables it operate and supportvessels on all major sea routes. The cruising speed of the vessel in open water should be a minimum 16 knots.
In addition, the new icebreaker will be equipped for oil spill response operations and will perform emergency towing missions 95 percent of the time in the open water and ice conditions prevailing in the Baltic Sea. It should be possible to collect oil with at significant wave height up to at least 2 meters, and 95 percent of the time in the wind conditions prevailing in the Baltic Sea. The recovered oil tanks and heating capacities for recovered oil should be sufficient to deal with at least 1,500 cu.m of collected quantities.
The vessel will be designed for 50 years of service life, and will provide accommodations for a total for 24 persons, with capacirt for additional crew in case of oil spill response operations.
The design details called for by the contract with Aker Arctic should be completed in time to begin the tender for construction of the icebreaker by the end of autumn 2013.
"The Finnish foreign trade flows completely depend on an efficient winter navigation,"says Antti Vehviläinen, Director General of Finland's Ministry of Transport. "Our oldest icebreaker ,Voima, is already sixty years old, and it is important that after a fifteen-year long gap we are able to renew our icebreaker fleet. Due to the new technology, our goal is to improve the level of icebreaker services and to ensure the competitiveness of our exports."
"This new design of Finnish icebreaker will give us a significant reference for the international markets of growing Scandinavian regions and thanks to it we can show that the Finnish icebreaking technology is in the top ranks in the world," says the Managing Director of Aker, Arctic Mikko Niini. "In summer, we can assure the performance capacity of the new icebreaker in advance by means of model tests",
"It is important for this kind of national project that all competencies and experience can be applied. Our starting cooperation with Aker Arctic is inevitable to preserve the status of Finnish know-how in a growing international competition," says the Managing Director of ILS Oy Jyrki Lehtonen.