The world’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) dual-fuel icebreaker commenced operations this week. The newest of Arctia’s fleet of eight icebreakers, Polaris is also Finland’s most powerful icebreaker with total output of about 22 MW, powered by two nine-cylinder Wärtsila 34DF engines and two 12-cylinder 34DF Wärtsila gensets. Arctia says it is the most environmentally friendly diesel-electric icebreaker in the world and is capable of operating in all major Finnish shipping lanes.
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 the vessel is adorned with the Finland 100 logo.
Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, the largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime community, ranked the 110m Polaris third in their list of the Top 10 Ships of 2016.
Master of IB Polaris Mr. Pasi Järvelin tells that the vessel has been ready to go for weeks already and that the crew is eagerly waiting for the coming months of icebreaking duty. “We just bunkered 1,000 cubic meters of low-sulphur diesel here in Katajanokka, Helsinki. We now head on to Pori, where more food provisions and 700 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas will be taken aboard”, explains Mr. Järvelin.
He looks forward to busy and interesting working weeks at sea: “This is a brand new icebreaker and we have not yet been in the thick of it. Based on the tests at Aker Arctic’s Model Testing Laboratory earlier, we expect great performance.”
Icebreaker Polaris was co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T programme.
(Source: Arctia Limited)