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Helsinki Shipyard to Launch the Largest Eco-Friendly Icebreaker Ever Built in Finland

Ships that are specifically designed with the ability to create channels by breaking through ice, known as icebreakers, have been an essential asset in many different areas, from scientific research to cargo shipping and military operations. Even the trend of private arctic explorers has grown substantially over the last years. As the maritime industry is slowly developing clean energy alternatives to power vessels, green icebreakers are also starting to emerge.
The future eco-friendly icebreaker will integrate a dual-fuel diesel-electric power plant 6 photos
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Helsinky Shipyard Oy will be building an innovative icebreaker designed by Aker Arctic for Norilsk Nickel, a huge Russian mining company that produces palladium and refined nickel. The shipyard specializes in high ice-class vessels that are meant to operate in harsh conditions and on challenging routes, but this new project is extra-special.

It will not only be powered by a hybrid propulsion system, but it will actually become the largest and most powerful diesel-electric icebreaker ever built in Finland.

This will be a high ice-class vessel (class notation 8, of the Russian Maritime Register/RMRS), capable of breaking 6.5 feet (2 meters) of ice that’s covered with snow. In addition to breaking channels, it will also be able to transport various types of cargo, and it has a built-in helipad for helicopter operations. In terms of power, it will integrate a dual-fuel diesel-electric power plant.

Dual-fuel means that it can use either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or low-sulfur diesel, both of which are considered low-emissions alternatives to conventional maritime fuel.

This future eco-friendly vessel will have an important mission. It has to break a channel in the Yenisei River that’s located in Siberia, and one of the largest rivers in Asia, for the Nornickel Arctic Expresses. Plus, it will tow an additional fleet of cargo ships with a total freight weight of 20,000 tons. The vessel’s home port will be Murmansk, a seaport that’s about 125 miles (200 km) north of the Arctic Circle, and its operating area will extend to the Yenisei Bay and the Kara sea.

Construction work on the new icebreaker is due to start this year, but it won’t be a short journey to completion, as Finland’s largest eco-friendly arctic vessel won’t be ready earlier than 2025.

Editor's note: Gallery showing various icebreakers designed by Aker Arctic Technology

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