The Finnish shipowner Arctia Ltd. is moving forward to support Canada in icebreaking and towing services. The company has responded to the Canadian Government’s Request for Information and Industry Consultation for Interim Icebreaking and Towing Capability for the Canadian Coast Guard, and continues to follow the tendering process. Arctia’s purpose-built icebreaker fleet is promptly available, and can serve the Canadian industry and Arctic communities within weeks.
“We were quite surprised yesterday reading the news stating that negotiations will be launched with one interested supplier for the conversion and lease of existing supply vessels. We have understood that the open tender for interim icebreaking services is still open and does not cover any conversion costs“, states Tero Vauraste, the President and CEO of Arctia Ltd.
Arctia Ltd. participates in the Canadian Government’s tender for interim icebreaking solutions. The company is ready to charter its icebreakers to the Canadian Coast Guard and explore cooperative solutions to help Canada avoid the so-called icebreaker gap within the formal purchasing process. The Government’s public tender issued in November 2016 states that the Canadian Coast Guard may require additional icebreaking capacity provided by one (1) to five (5) icebreakers at various times over the next number of years.
“We have extensive experience in the North American Arctic. All our icebreakers have diesel-electric propulsion and they are designed specifically for challenging and long-lasting icebreaking operations. They need no conversion for operations in the Canadian Arctic. This is a clear advantage compared to our competitors. We are the only operator in the world that can provide multiple powerful heavy and medium heavy polar class icebreakers promptly and on a commercial basis“, Vauraste explains.
Arctia Ltd. is a Finnish shipowner specialized in icebreaking, ice management and towing. The company currently has eight icebreakers in its fleet, including IB Polaris, the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered icebreaker in the world. Finnish multipurpose icebreakers have been proven effective in the Canadian Arctic. Just this July, the Finnish MSV Nordica transited the Northwest Passage (NWP) from Vancouver, Canada, to Nuuk, Greenland, in 24 days with researchers and a Canadian Coast Guard officer on board. This transit set the record for the earliest crossing of the NWP. The Nordica now holds the records for both the earliest and latest season transits of the NWP.
Along with the Nordica, its sister vessel MSV Fennica has served in ice management tasks in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in 2007 and from 2012 to 2015. Arctia’s converted IB Otso has worked on the north-eastern coast of Greenland.
The need for icebreaking services is one of the many things that Canada and Finland have in common. Icebreakers in the Baltic Sea on Finnish waters are utilized at a low rate, around 30 to 40 percent annually, mainly just during the harshest winter months. Sharing icebreaker assets with Canada would raise this rate and bring affordable strategic icebreaking options to both Finland and Canada.
Arctia Ltd. will organize a showcase event for media and interested experts in Ottawa in the morning of Thursday, February 1st, coinciding with the Northern Lights 2018 Conference. The company’s President and CEO Mr. Tero Vauraste will describe Finnish icebreakers’ experience in the North American Arctic and answer questions about Canada-Finland cooperation potential in icebreaking.