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The Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) has placed an order with Switzerland-based power and automation technology provider, ABB, to supply electric power plant and propulsion units.

The order will involve installing Azipod technology-based propulsion units onto FTA’s new-generation LNG icebreaker vessel that is currently under construction at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

In order to optimise efficiency and manoeuvrability of the new vessel in ice-ridge conditions, a three-pod propulsion solution with a 6MW Azipod unit at the bow and two 6.5MW units at the stern will be installed.

ABB Marine and Cranes business unit head Heikki Soljama said: "The safety of seaborne transport in the Baltic Sea is under political and regulatory scrutiny as never before, making FTA’s preference ABB’s power and propulsion technology, based on our proven references."

"It is no coincidence that the most forward-looking icebreaker designs invariably feature podded propulsion."

"Once more, the system’s performance and its ease-of-maintenance have proved critical factors in the selection process. It is no coincidence that the most forward-looking icebreaker designs invariably feature podded propulsion."

The new vessel are designed by Arctech and feature a dual fuel capability to lower emissions and costs. It is claimed to be the first LNG icebreaker to operate in the Baltic Sea.

Incorporating advanced technologies to meet ice-breaking conditions in the Baltic Sea will allow the new vessel to perform open sea oil spill response and towing duties in the summer and winter.

The icebreaker is scheduled for delivery in 2016.

ABB’s electric propulsion systems have been adopted by more than 80 icebreakers or ice-going vessels with a propulsion power of up to 36MW.


Image: An artist’s impression of the Finnish Transport Agency’s new LNG icebreaker vessel. Photo: courtesy of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.