On 16th of April the Finnish Transport Agency signed a contract with Aker Arctic Technology Oy for the design of the new icebreaker for the Finnish Government. Aker Arctic in cooperation with ILS Oy will design the vessel and prepare the technical documents needed to arrange the tender for its construction in compliance, take responsibility over the performance of the vessel, and will assist the Transport Agency in negotiations with shipyards later this autumn.
The Government has already taken earlier 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 in all parameters will comply with the Urho-class icebreaker. Due to its diesel-electric machinery, it will be able 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...11 knots of average assistance speed in the Baltic Sea. The draught of the vessel with full fuel tanks will be maximum 8 m, which enables operation and assistance to merchant vessels on all major sea lanes.The service speed of the vessel in open water should be minimum 16 knots.
In addition, the new icebreaker will be equipped for oil spill response operations and will perform emergency towing missions 95% of the time in the open water and ice conditions prevailing in the Baltic Sea. The vessel will be able to collect spill oil at significant wave height up to at least 2 meters, and 95% 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 for at least 1500 m3 of collected volumes.The vessel will be designed for 50 years of service life, and the icebreaker will have accommodation in total for 24 persons, with reserve for additional crew in case of oil spill response operations.
The ordered design materials should be completed so as to make it possible to complete the tender for construction of the icebreaker by end of 2013.
”The Finnish foreign trade is fully dependent on an efficient winter navigation. 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", says Antti Vehviläinen, Director General, Finnish Transport Agency.
”It is amazing that the future flagship of our icebreaking fleet is possible to be designed by the most experienced engineering companies of the country, Aker Arctic andILS, which guarantees the result of high quality of the project”, says Jarkko Toivola, Winter Navigation Unit Manager.
”This new design of the Finnish icebreaker will give us a significant reference for the growing international Arctic markets and thanks to it we can show that the Finnish icebreaking technology continues having the top ranks in the world. During next summer we can assure in advance the performance capacity of the new icebreaker by means of ice model tests”, says Mikko Niini, Managing Director of Aker Arctic.
”It is important for this kind of national project that all competencies and experience can work towards a joint goal. Our emerging cooperation with Aker Arctic is inevitable to preserve the status of Finnish know-how in a growing international competition” says Jyrki Lehtonen, Managing Director of ILS Oy.