First LNG icebreaker to be powered by Wärtsilä

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Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is building the world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker for the Finnish Transport Agency which will be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines, capable of operating on both low sulphur diesel fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG), reports World Maritime News.

The vessel will be capable of breaking a 25m wide channel in 1.2m-thick ice at a speed of 6 knots and able to move continuously through ice up to 1.6m thick.

The open water service speed will be a minimum of 16 knots. It will also be able to reach an average assistance speed of 9-11 knots.

The Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, Esko Mustamäki said: “The new icebreaker features the highest technology and will be built especially to operate in the demanding winter conditions of the northernmost Baltic Sea.”

It will independently be able to perform oil-spill response operations and emergency towing under demanding conditions both in winter and summer. Therefore, it will be able to operate all year round to ensure safe seaborne transports in the Baltic Sea.

According to Aaron Bresnahan, the vice-president of Wärtsilä Ship Power: “We are proud to supply the world’s first LNG powered icebreaker with engines powerful enough to meet the customer’s requirements. The combination of ice breaking power and environmental sustainability is difficult to achieve, but our dual-fuel engine technology has the capabilities needed.”

Delivery of the equipment to the yard will be made in spring 2015.

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