Last month the rudder and the ice belt of the harbor icebreaker tug Jääsalo were coated with Ecospeed in Naantali, Finland.
The m/s Jääsalo is responsible for keeping the Veitsiluoto fairway open in the port of Kemi in Finland. The Port of Kemi in the Bothnian Bay is an excellent import and export harbor for the industry of the Barents Region. The harbor represents the fastest route to the northern areas of Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Murmansk area in Russia.
Nearly 750 vessels visit Kemi each year, with relatively equal distribution throughout the year. The vessels carry about 3 million tons of goods. It is therefore extremely important that the harbor is able to offer its own icebreaker services to vessels.
The Bothnian Bay usually begins to freeze in October-November and the last of the ice melts away by the beginning of June at the latest. Since the channel is narrow, shallow (7 m), and winding, large icebreakers are unable to open it. Navigation in the Bothnian Bay during the icy season is therefore made possible thanks to the icebreaker tug Jääsalo.
The decision to use Ecospeed on the rudder of the vessel was made by the shipowner after cavitation damage had appeared. Ecospeed will prevent similar damage from occurring again and ensures lasting protection for the remainder of the vessel’s service life.
The rudder must be protected from the damaging effects of cavitation. Ecospeed gives a very thorough and lasting defense against cavitation and corrosion damage for a ship hull’s entire service life. The coating equally provides the rudder (and the entire underwater hull) with an impenetrable protective layer while its flexibility enables absorption of the forces that are produced by cavitation. This prevents the damage normally caused by this phenomenon.
Certified abrasive resistant coating
Together with the rudder the ice belt of the Jääsalo was coated with Ecospeed. This is the area on the underwater hull most prone to mechanical damage from sailing through and breaking ice. On the bow the ice belt can extend to about 1 meter above the waterline. Ecospeed has received the Lloyd’s Register certificate that recognizes the coating as an abrasion resistant ice coating. This allows owners of newbuild vessels intending to navigate in ice conditions to reduce the thickness of the plating of the ice belt as long as this area is coated with Ecospeed.
The owners of m/s Jääsalo also coated the entire stern area with Ecospeed and are planning to have the remainder of the underwater hull of the icebreaker tug coated with Ecospeed later this year, to give the entire underwater part of the vessel the same lasting protection against ice.
Ecospeed demonstrates excellent attachment to the hull and successful resistance to extremely icy conditions. Ecospeed has proven its ability to withstand the harshest winter conditions on numerous occasions. For over seven years several vessels coated with Ecospeed have been sailing the most northern parts of the Baltic Sea during the winter season and as far as both the North and the South Pole. These vessels’ underwater hulls frequently have to endure the impact of large pieces of floating dry ice. Despite this, there has been neither damage from the ice nor any deterioration of the coating and none of these vessels have required more than just a few touch-ups during their drydock visits.