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Wärtsilä To Power First LNG Icebreaker

Company’s dual-fuel engines lower fuel costs, emissions; vessel slated for demanding Baltic Sea operations

Posted on June 10, 2014

A new icebreaker being built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard for the Finnish Transport Agency will be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines capable of operating on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and low sulfur diesel fuel.

When launched in late 2015, it will be the first LNG-powered – and most environmentally friendly – icebreaker ever built, the company said.

The full scope of supply calls for one 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF; two 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF; and two 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF engines. The contract was signed in March 2014 and delivery of the equipment to the yard will be made in spring 2015.

The vessel is designed to move continuously through 1.6 m thick ice and to be capable of breaking a 25 m wide channel in 1.2 m thick ice at a speed of 6 knots. It will also be able to reach an average assistance speed of 9 to 11 knots; in open water, the service speed will be a minimum of 16 knots.

While the main purpose of the vessel is icebreaking, it will independently be able to perform oil spill response operations and emergency towing under demanding conditions both in winter and summer, the company said.

The vessel will operate all year round to ensure safe seaborne transports in the Baltic Sea.