Next-generation icebreaker Polaris ready for action

Finland’s newest icebreaker Polaris is ready to enter service. The vessel was presented to media today, Monday 31 October 2016. Operational readiness for icebreaking pursuant to a contract between Arctia and the Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) begins tomorrow, Tuesday 1 November 2016. Icebreakers will be manned as required by ice conditions and the FTA as charterer.

Icebreaker Polaris is unique in many ways. It is the first icebreaker in the world capable of running on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ultra-low-sulphur diesel. Its total output of about 22 MW also makes it Finland’s most powerful icebreaker. Polaris is the most environmentally friendly diesel-electric icebreaker in the world.

Polaris enters service at a historical time, as the year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. To celebrate the centenary, the fore bulkhead of Polaris is adorned with the Finland 100 logo. Polaris carries on a tradition of Finnish icebreaking expertise that dates back even further than Finland’s independence: the first Finnish icebreaker called Murtaja (“The Breaker”), was launched in 1890. Polaris is the eighth icebreaker in Arctia’s current fleet. The previous Finnish icebreaker was commissioned in 1998.

The theme for Finland’s 100th anniversary “Together” is also a fitting word to describe the design and construction of Polaris. The vessel was designed under the supervision of the Finnish Transport Agency to ensure its ability to take on the most challenging conditions in the Baltic Sea. The vessel was built in Helsinki by Finnish shipbuilders. The icebreaker’s innovative design and modern technological solutions are evident, for example, in its shape and propulsion system.

“Polaris represents a new generation of icebreakers. Arctia supports the proposed ban on the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. We believe that the use of LNG and the vessel’s built-in oil recovery system are the future of cost effective multipurpose icebreakers. We are proud to be the owner of the world’s most environmentally friendly icebreaker, which will safeguard our customers’ winter transport needs in the Baltic Sea”, says Tero Vauraste, President and CEO of Arctia Ltd., the owner and operator of IB Polaris.

“Building of the world’s most advanced icebreaker Polaris strengthens the position of Helsinki Shipyard as the leading icebreaker builder”, states Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc.

We are proud of being the developer and designer of this remarkable icebreaker concept representing the most modern technology”, states Reko-Antti Suojanen, Managing Director of  Aker Arctic Technology Inc.

“We are satisfied that we now have a next-generation icebreaker that is in many ways more efficient than its predecessors and environmentally friendly at the same time”, says Markus Karjalainen, Head of Winter Navigation Unit at the Finnish Transport Agency.

Icebreaker Polaris is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T programme.

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SPECIAL FOR ARCTIA / Viestintäpäällikkö Eero Hokkanen - Polaris-jäänmurtaja Helsingissä 12. lokakuuta 2016. Aluksen suunnittelussa ja rakentamisessa on hyödynnetty suomalaisia teknologisia ratkaisuja, mitä edustavat muun muassa jäävahvistetut potkurilaitteet ja rungon sisälle rakennettu tehokas öljyntorjuntajärjestelmä. Alus voi käyttää polttoaineenaan, sekä dieseliä että nesteytettyä maakaasua, eli LNG:tä. Polaris on suunniteltu erityisesti Itämeren vaativaan jäänmurtoon ja alus varustetaan lisäksi öljyntorjunta- ja hätähinaustehtäviin.


Arctia Ltd. enables Finnish seaborne trade in ice conditions on the Baltic Sea and provides icebreaking, offshore and oil recovery services in all polar regions. Arctia continues the over 125-year-old Finnish icebreaking tradition with one of the of the most powerful icebreaker fleets in the world. www.arctia.fi

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc. specialises in Arctic shipbuilding technology, building icebreakers and special offshore vessels for Arctic conditions. The Helsinki Shipyard is a pioneer in its industry with more than 150 years of experience in shipbuilding. The company employs approximately 600 shipbuilders. www.arctech.fi

Aker Arctic is a technology company that specializes in the development, design, engineering and testing services for ice-going vessels, icebreakers, as well as offshore marine structures and ports. The company’s head office is in Helsinki, Finland. www.akerarctic.fi

The Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) enables smooth, efficient and safe travel and transport. The FTA is responsible for Finland’s roads, railways and waterways and for the overall development of Finland’s transport system. The FTA is the responsible authority for safeguarding winter navigation for Finnish ports. www.liikennevirasto.fi/web/en

Communications Manager Eero Hokkanen, Arctia Ltd.

tel. +358 46 876 7140, firstname.lastname@arctia.fi

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