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Breaking the ice worldwide

Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc.
Arctech Helsinki Shipyard specialises in arctic shipbuilding technology – building icebreakers and other offshore and special vessels for use in arctic waters around the world.

Founded in December 2010 and operational since April 2011, Arctech is still a young company but draws on more than a century of expertise in building ships for waters where ice, and sometimes very thick ice, is an everday reality during the winter. The Helsinki Shipyard was established in 1865 and numerous icebreakers and other arctic vessels have been built there over the years. In fact, the Helsinki Shipyard has delivered around 60% of all the icebreakers currently in operation around the world.

Equally owned by STX Finland and Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, Arctech Helsinki Shipyard not only builds icebreaking vessels, it is also a forerunner in developing and applying new technologies in the field; and the yard’s design unit has developed a range of advanced products for the arctic maritime cluster.

New-generation ships for Sakhalin

Arctech’s current projects include two icebreaking offshore vessels and an icebreaking multipurpose emergency and rescue vessel.

The first two ships are being built for the Russian shipping company, Sovcomflot, and will supply the Sakhalin-1 Arkutun-Dagi oil and gas field in the Russian Far East and protect the field’s production platform from ice. They represent the next generation of multipurpose icebreaking supply vessels and have been designed for the extreme environmental conditions found in and around the island of Sakhalin north of Japan.

Given that they will have to operate in thick drifting ice at temperatures down to -35 °C, the ships will have an extremely high icebreaking capability and will be able to operate independently in level ice up to 1.7 metres thick and penetrate consolidated ice ridges up to 20 metres thick.

Multipurposing closer to home

Arctech’s third newbuilding, an icebreaking multipurpose emergency and rescue vessel, has been ordered by the Russian Ministry of Transport and will be used in the Gulf of Finland for icebreaking and towing vessels and floating facilities. The vessel is being built together with the Kaliningrad-based Yantar Shipyard, part of United Shipbuilding Corporation. When the hull has been completed in Kaliningrad, it will be brought to Helsinki for outfitting and commissioning.

This unique ship features a patented oblique design, based on the ARC 100 concept and developed for Arctech by Aker Arctic Technology. An asymmetric hull and three azimuthing propulsion units, providing approx. 7 MW of propulsive power, will allow the vessel to operate efficiently ahead, astern, and obliquely. The vessel will be able to proceed continuously in level ice up to 1 metre thick and generate a 50 metre-wide channel in level ice 0.6 metres thick.

Thanks to a very advanced oil recovery system, the vessel will be able to combat oil spills in rough seas when more conventional technology cannot be used.

An artist’s impression of one of the two new-generation icebreaking offshore supply vessels being supplied by Arctech for use off Sakhalin in the Russian Far East.
> Esko Mustamäki
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)