Fednav has placed an order with Japan’s Sumitomo and Universal Shipbuilding to design and build an ice-breaking bulk carrier.

Universal’s Tsu shipyard will build the new ice-breaking bulk carrier to Polar Class 4 requirements in order to operate year-round in first-year ice.

The new icebreaker, which will be classed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), will have capacity of 25,000dwt with scheduled delivery in December 2013.

Fednav has also signed a long-term transportation contract with mining firm Canadian Royalties, a division of Jien Canada Mining.

Under the deal, the new vessel will be used to carry nickel and copper concentrates from Canadian Royalties’ Nunavik Nickel Project in northern Quebec to customers in Europe.

The new icebreaker will also be responsible for the import of mine supplies and equipment from Europe.

The new ship marks the third ice-breaking commercial vessel in Fednav’s fleet, joining the MV Arctic and the MV Umiak I.

The MV Umiak I services the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in northern Labrador.