development of new icebreakers for demanding Baltic Sea escort operations. Aker Arctic will develop a next generation icebreaker design that is capable of assisting larger merchant ships, incorporates latest environmental technologies, and is ready for future fossil-free fuels. In the process to design a new generation of icebreakers, the emphasis is to find solutions to maintain the service level as the operating environment changes. The size of merchant vessels entering Finnish and Swedish ports is growing, and increasing environmental requirements gradually limit the engine power of the vessels. The growing size of vessels that need assistance and the weakening of their abilities to handle ice-covered waters make it difficult for vessels to pass through ice masses in challenging ice conditions in the Baltic Sea, which increases the need for icebreaker assistance.
The design process starts with research and evaluation on alternative icebreaker concepts. The new icebreaker is required to be able to assist ships with 32 m beam. Cost-effective operation, low life-cycle costs, the transition to fossil-free fuel by 2030 and the reduction of CO2 emissions are also important goals.
A concept will be selected in March when the first cost estimate for the construction of the icebreaker is available. After this, the focus will be on the design details and construction specification, which will form the basis of the shipyard tendering process once a decision to build the icebreakers is made.