The Finnish Transport Agency signed a contract with Aker Arctic Technology Oy for design of a new icebreaker for the government. Aker Arctic in cooperation with ILS Oy will design the vessel and prepare the technical documents needed to hold tender 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 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 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-meter-thick level ice, to break a 25-meter-wide channel in 1.2-meter 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 should be maximum 8 meters, which enables operation and support to vessels on all major sea routes. The cruising speed of the vessel in open water should be minim 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. It should be possible to collect oil with 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 1,500 meters3 of collected quantities. 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 begin the tender for construction of the icebreaker by end of autumn 2013.