Wartsila dual-fuel engines to power the first LNG fuelled icebreaker in the world

By Curious

Wartsila has announced that their dual-fuel engines will power a new icebreaker which currently is being built for the Finnish Transport Agency at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Upon its launch, late next year, the vessel will be the world's first LNG-powered icebreaker. The dual-fuel engines of Wartsila are able to operate on both LNG (liquefied natural gas) and low sulphur diesel fuel.

The use of LNG as engine fuel significantly reduces the fuel costs and the exhaust emissions. The Wartsila engines power output per cylinder is impressive. The entire supply scope needs two 9-cylinder Wartsila 34DF, two 12-cylinder Wartsila 34DF and one 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF engines. The delivery of the full equipment to Arctech Helsinki Shipyard is expected in spring 2015.

The Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, Esko Mustamaki, commented:

“The new icebreaker features the highest technology and will be built especially to operate in the demanding winter conditions of the northernmost Baltic Sea. By being able to use LNG fuel, the vessel will be the most environmentally friendly icebreaker ever built. ”

The Vice President (Sales) of Wartsila Ship Power, Aaron Bresnahan, said:

“We are the industry leaders in gas fuelled vessel equipment, and are proud to supply the world’s first LNG powered icebreaker with engines powerful enough to meet the customer’s requirements. The combination of ice breaking power and environmental sustainability is difficult to achieve, but our dual-fuel engine technology has the capabilities needed.”

The first LNG fuelled icebreaker will be capable of going through 1.6 meter thick ice. It will be able to break a 25-meter wide channel at speed of 6 knots in 1.2-meter thick ice. Its average assistance speed will be between 9 – 11 knots in open water, while the service speed will be at least 16 knots.

Besides its main purpose, icebreaking, the vessel will be suitable (both in winter and summer) for emergency towing and response operations if needed. It will operate in the Baltic Sea all year round.