The Most Environmentally Friendly Icebreaker Ever Built

Excerpt from: Maritime Executive | By Erik Kravets | July 05, 2016

Ice is extremely dangerous to ships. In northern climates, especially in the Baltic and North Seas, history is replete with accidents and even total loss incidents due to ice.

Finland’s state-owned icebreaking company, Arctia, must contend with demanding and challenging conditions like this. Will Arctia’s new icebreaker, the Polaris, be the next generation icebreaker that commercial navigation needs in the Baltic Sea to ensure that the shipping lanes are free?

One of the most important features of the Polaris is the use of dual-fuel engines. Deploying an LNG engine in an icebreaker of this kind is a world first, and through the use of LNG fuel, the Polaris is claimed to be the most environmentally friendly icebreaker ever built. The dual fuel setup is intended to reduce both fuel costs and minimize exhaust emissions.


Photo Source: Maritime Executive

In total, the Polaris’ two vertical LNG fuel tanks take up 800 cubic meters of space and offer fuel for 10 days of operation. Polaris also carries enough low sulfur diesel fuel to operate for a further 20 days.

Also noteworthy is Polaris’ oil recovery equipment which, delivered by Lamor, includes the latest technology in winterization features: ridged storm and inflatable sweeping boom systems that enable Polaris to collect up to 200 cubic meters of oil per hour in extreme weather and ice conditions. This gives the vessel all-year utilization potential. Given its 125 million euro ($140 million) price tag, 25 million ($28 million) of which was provided by the European Union’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), this all-year utilization is very smart economics and represents a prudent use of Finnish and European taxpayers’ money.

Read more about Polaris here.