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Icebreakers News

20 May 2024

Commissioning of Russia's 120MW Nuclear Icebreaker Postponed

Model of the Leader series icebreaker (Image: Rosatom / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Russia is pushing back the commissioning of its planned 120 megawatt (MW) icebreakers, according to media reports.First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov said the lead nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 10510 Leader series, Rossiya, is scheduled to be comissioned in 2030, three years later than originally planned, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported. Construction has been underway at the Zvezda shipbuilding complex in the Russian Far East since 2020…

30 Apr 2024

Wärtsilä to Supply Engines for Canadian Polar Icebreaker

(Image: Seaspan Shipyards)

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä reports it will supply the engines for a new Canadian Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker being designed and built at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.The 158 meter-long multi-mission Polar Icebreaker will operate under PC2 conditions with four 16-cylinder and two 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 31 engines, delivering 47 MW of power. The engines will be fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems for IMO Tier III environmental compliance. Wärtsilä will also supply the center shaft line with a stainless-steel ice-class propeller…

26 Mar 2024

Seaspan Awarded Contracts for Canadian Coast Guard’s Multi-Purpose Vessels

(Image: Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian government on Tuesday announced it has awarded a pair of contracts to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. (VSY) to initiate the next stages of procuring the first flight of Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPV) for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG).These contracts, which are worth $490.6 million combined (taxes included), following completion of the vessel’s basic design review in late 2023 and allow VSY to undertake pre-construction work, such as selecting specific pieces of equipment…

26 Mar 2024

Davie Awarded Contract for Canadian Icebreaker Design

(Image: Government of Canada)

The Canadian government has awarded a contract to shipbuilder Chantier Davie Canada Inc. of Lévis, Quebec, for initial work related to the construction of new Program Icebreakers. Under this $19.6-million contract including taxes, Davie will begin work to develop the initial design.A series of six new Program Icebreakers is planned to replace the Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) medium icebreakers that operate in Atlantic Canada and the St. Lawrence waterways during the winter, and in the Arctic during the summer.This contract enables the shipyard to initiate project planning phases…

25 Mar 2024

Sweden Buys Norwegian Icebreaker

Polar Circle (Photo: Swedish Maritime Administration)

The Swedish Maritime Administration has purchased the 18-year-old icebreaker Polar Circle, expanding its fleet of icebreaking ships to help keep the nation's ports and shipping lanes clear during the cold winter months.In December, the Swedish Maritime Administration put out a tender to acquire a secondhand icebreaker, with Polar Circle emerging as the most suitable option. The agency recently ran the Polar Circle through trials in the Gulf of Bothnia before committing to purchase the vessel."We are delighted to welcome Polar Circle to our fleet.

05 Mar 2024

Seaspan Shipyards Orders ABB Propulsion for Canadian Polar Icebreaker

(Image: Seaspan Shipyards)

Canadian shipbuilder Seaspan Shipyards has awarded ABB a contract to deliver an integrated propulsion system for the first of the Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) new-generation polar class icebreakers.The first vessel of its kind to be built in Canada in over 60 years, the vessel is expected to be one of the world’s largest and most powerful diesel-electric icebreaker when it enters service in 2030, complying with IACS Polar Class 2 requirements for year-round operations in moderate multi-year ice conditions.

21 Feb 2024

Canadian Coast Guard Awards Contract for Icebreaker Life Extension

(Photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

Canada's Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Jean-Yves Duclos, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Diane Lebouthillier, announced a contract award following a competitive process, valued at approximately $44 million (including taxes) to Ocean Industries Inc. for the vessel life extension of the CCGS Griffon.Scheduled to take place from June 2025 to October 2026, the vessel life extension work entails refurbishing and repairing the main propulsion motors…

09 Feb 2024

Seaspan Builds ‘Prototype Block’ for Canadian Polar Icebreaker Program

(Photo: Seaspan)

Seaspan Shipyards announced it has completed construction of the ‘Prototype Block’ for the Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) Polar Icebreaker program. Construction of this Prototype Block ensures that Seaspan has the proper processes, procedures, equipment and skills necessary to build the first heavy Polar Icebreaker in Canada in more than 60 years.Seaspan said it developed and built the Prototype Block to ensure that its production teams are fully prepared to cut steel on the Polar Icebreaker in late 2024.

01 Feb 2024

Aker Arctic Names Mika Hovilainen Interim CEO

(Photo: Eric Haun)

Aker Arctic, a Finnish engineering company specializing in the development of ice-going vessels, on Thursday announced it has appointed Mika Hovilainen as interim managing director and CEO following the departure of longtime CEO Reko-Antti Suojanen.Suojanen, who spent 19 years at Aker Arctic, including 10 as CEO, announced in December he would depart the company to explore new opportunities elsewhere.“I will pass the helm to Mika Hovilainen with good confidence. Mika has been working for a long time at Aker Arctic and has been leading our Ship Design activities…

10 Jan 2024

Hunt Valve to Equip USCG Polar Security Cutter

(Image: U.S. Coast Guard)

Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD), a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management (Arcline), announced it has been awarded a purchase order to provide motor-operated valves (MOVs) through Hunt Valve for the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Polar Sentinel (WMSP-21). The cutter is the first of three multi-mission vessels that will comprise the Polar Security Cutter program, which is intended to supplement the USCG’s missions in the Arctic as well as Operation Deep Freeze in the Antarctic.“Every ship has a crucial role to play in advancing American interests at sea…

26 Dec 2023

Fire Put Out on Nuclear-powered Cargo Ship

(Photo: Vadim Tolbatov, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Russia said on Monday that emergency workers had put out a fire on a Soviet-era nuclear-powered cargo-icebreaker ship and the state company which runs the vessel said there had been no casualties and no threat to the security of the reactor.The fire broke out on Sunday in one of the cabins of the Soviet-made Sevmorput ship, which is currently at dock in the northern Russian city of Murmansk, the emergency ministry said.The fire, which at its peak covered an area of about 30 square meters (323 square feet)…

18 Dec 2023

Aker Arctic CEO Suojanen to Step Down

“Developing, designing and building icebreaking vessels is very strong in Finland,” said Reko-Antti Suojanen, managing director at Aker Arctic Technology, an engineering company specializing in icebreakers. “We hold the position as the world leader in this segment.”
From left: Aker Arctic Technology managing director, Reko-Antti Suojanen, with director of sales and marketing, Arto Uuskallio. (Photo: Eric Haun)

Aker Arctic’s CEO Reko-Antti Suojanen announced he will leave his position in the company, while he and the Board of Aker Arctic have agreed that he will continue in his position as CEO until of January 31, 2024.Suojanen has benn CEO of Aker Arctic for 10 years, and the Board has commenced the search process to hire his successor. “We have developed and designed worldclass icebreakers and other ice going vessels and reached a position as the leading company in this segment. The company’s financial situation is excellent…

30 Nov 2023

FINLAND: ‘A Birthplace for Icebreakers’

Captain Pasi Järvelin on the bridge of Arctia icebreaker Polaris. Järvelin has more than 40 years’ experience in the maritime industry, including 36 years on icebreakers, and was part of the concept team that developed the vessel. (Photo: Eric Haun)

Finnish companies have designed about 80 percent of the world’s icebreakers, and about 60 percent of them have been built by Finnish shipyards.Finland is home to a strong and vibrant maritime cluster, with a mix of large, medium and small shipyards, as well as a deep pool of marine engineering expertise and a broad network of vessel equipment suppliers.As one of the world’s northernmost countries, Finland is also home to a fleet of icebreakers that keep imports and exports flowing through its harbors, even during the coldest winter months.

23 Nov 2023

Steerprop To Supply Bow Thrusters for Canada’s New Polar Icebreaker

Source: Steerprop

Steerprop has been chosen to supply advanced ice-classed bow thrusters to the Canadian Coast Guard’s new Polar Icebreaker. The ship will be designed and built by Seaspan Shipyards as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.Steerprop will equip the Polar Icebreaker with two arctic tunnel thrusters specially designed to meet the most demanding ice conditions, even without the protection of tunnel grids. This will be Steerprop’s first delivery of this unique ice-strengthened tunnel thruster.

01 Nov 2023

Biggest Chinese Antarctic Fleet Sets Off to Build Research Station

Credit: Timo Palo - Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED

Two Chinese icebreaker research vessels and a cargo ship set sail on Wednesday for the Antarctic with more than 460 personnel on board to help complete construction of China's fifth station on the world's southernmost continent.China's biggest flotilla of research vessels deployed to the Antarctic will focus on building the station on the rocky, windswept Inexpressible Island near the Ross Sea, a deep Southern Ocean bay named after a 19th century British explorer.Work on the first Chinese station in the Pacific sector began in 2018.

06 Sep 2023

Russia In Talks with China, India to Develop More Ice-class Vessels

© owr / Adobe Stock

Russia must boost production facilities for the construction of ice-breaking vessels in order to meet its targets for increasing trade via the Northern Sea route, Moscow's official in charge of Arctic development has said.The government has been in talks with India and China on such projects, Alexei Chekunkov, the head of Russia's Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, told RBC media.Russia has long viewed the route, which runs from Murmansk near Russia's border with Norway eastwards to the Bering Strait near Alaska…

14 Aug 2023

US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, Scientists Deploy Ice Stations

Researchers set up instruments to begin data collection on an ice floe next to USCGC Healy in the Beaufort Sea, Aug. 6, 2023. (Photo: Zane Miagany / U.S. Coast Guard)

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) crew and embarked researchers ventured onto a floe of multi-year ice for the first of three multi-instrument ice stations in the Arctic Ocean Basin late July and early August.As the Healy carefully approached and maintained position alongside an ice floe above 77 degrees north, the crew and a team of scientists, working in cooperation with the Office of Naval Research, (ONR) offloaded a diverse collection of equipment on to the floe carefully…

10 Aug 2023

Bollinger Cuts Steel on Prototype Module for First Polar Security Cutter

(Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Shipyards this week announced it has begun cutting steel at Bollinger Mississippi Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. on the first of eight prototype modules that will become the foundation of the first U.S. Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC), USCGC Polar Sentinel (PSC-1)—the first heavy icebreaker to be built in the United States in 50 years. "Today marks a significant step for both Bollinger Shipyards and the United States,” said Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. “After over 50 years, we're back to building heavy icebreakers.

20 Jun 2023

Tech File: Battery Power Breakthrough in Ice

Image credit ABB

An ABB study based on three years of operational ship data mounts a case for integrating battery power onboard modern icebreakers, writes Samuli Hänninen, who specializes in icebreaking vessels at ABB Marine & Ports. The maritime industry is still at the formative stage of realizing the gains available from batteries, but the ability to scale up to megawatt-hour levels is not the only attraction for the zero-emission technology. Evidence newly disclosed by ABB suggests that the…

16 May 2023

Icebreaker Botnica Lines Up Summer Work with Equinor

Tallinna Sadam subsidiary TS Shipping has signed an agreement securing summer work for its multifunctional icebreaker Botnica with Equinor in the U.K.The 40-day charter agreement, which includes a 10-day extension option, will start from June 5 and will see Botnica provide auxiliary vessel services towards Equinor’s operational offshore wind farms in the U.K., including transport and accommodation of the maintenance team as well as providing motion-compensated walk-to-work gangway and crane operations.Under a 10-year agreement with the Estonian Transport Administration, Botnica provides icebreaking services in Estonian coastal waters from December 20 to April 20.

28 Mar 2023

NOAA, Coast Guard to Collect Data from a Great Lakes Icebreaker

(Photo: NOAA)

This week, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) scientists worked with the U.S. Coast Guard during ice-breaking in Lake Superior Harbor in Duluth, Minnesota, aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Spar. This project is the first set of experiments funded by the newly developed Great Lakes Center of Expertise.Teams from both Coast Guard District 9 and NOAA deployed uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) with multispectral, thermal and LIDAR sensors to collect data while the Spar was breaking ice in the harbor.

15 Feb 2023

Canadian Coast Guard Set to Kick Off St. Lawrence River Icebreaking

CCGS Mamilossa (Photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

The Canadian Coast Guard announced it plans to commence spring icebreaking operations on the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Québec on the morning of February 20, or sooner if the weather conditions were to create an increased risk of the stalling of coastal pack ice.Icebreaking will continue thereafter on several streams, rivers, and river mouths in Quebec.Annual operations on the St. Lawrence River, including those near Lac-Saint-Pierre, are designed to break coastal pack ice into smaller pieces, thus preventing large blocks of ice from drifting and blocking navigation channels.

22 Nov 2022

Putin Touts Russia's 'Arctic Power' with Launch of Nuclear Icebreakers

(Photo: Baltic Shipyard)

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday touted Russia's Arctic power at a flag-raising ceremony and dock launch for two nuclear-powered icebreakers that will ensure year-round navigation in the Western Arctic.Presiding via video link from the Kremlin at the launch ceremony in the former imperial capital of St Petersburg in northern Russia, Putin said such icebreakers were of strategic importance for the country."Both icebreakers were laid down as part of a large serial project and are part of our large-scale…