Image: Aker Arctic Technology Inc.

By Martin Chomsky/Helsinki Shipyards

Helsinki Shipyard Oy have successfully completed purchasing contracts for the main equipment of Nornickel’s icebreaker contracted last year, along with model tests in ice and open water for the icebreaker design developed by Aker Arctic.

Norilsk Nickel and Helsinki Shipyard Oy are building a new environmentally friendly icebreaker for Norilsk Nickel’s use. The ship’s future operating area is the Yenisei River basin, Yenisei Bay and the Kara Sea securing access to Dudinka seaport both for its own fleet and its partners. The icebreaker’s mission is to make the channel in Yenisei river for Nornickel Arctic Expresses (Arc7) and tow additionally employed fleet of cargo ships Arc5 class with up to 20 000 tons deadweight. The icebreaker’s home port is going to be Murmansk.

The concept design of the new vessel was developed in cooperation with Aker Arctic Technology Oy. The design work is now proceeding according to the planned schedule, including e.g. the ice model tests, which have already been successfully performed. Project procurement is also proceeding well and purchasing contracts for the main equipment for machinery and propulsion have already been completed. The construction work will begin in 2022 and the vessel will be delivered to the customer for the winter season 2025.

“Receiving new icebreaker by the end of 2024 is very important for Nornickel as it provides additional transportation capacities needed to implement both our strategic investment projects including the city of Norilsk renovation plans. And we are happy to declare that it’s going to be fueled by LNG which goes in line with current environmental trends on decarbonisation and will be a pioneer icebreaker on LNG exploited at Nothern Sea Route” – commented Senior Vice President of Norilsk Nickel Sergey Dubovitskiy.

The new icebreaker will have an integrated dual-fuel diesel-electric power plant, which can use both LNG and low-sulfur diesel oil as fuel with good energy efficiency and low emissions. The vessel will be built for the class notation Icebreaker 8 of the Russian Maritime Register (RMRS) and it will be capable of breaking 2 m thick snow-covered ice when operating either ahead or astern. The ship will also have facilities for transporting cargo and supporting helicopter operations.

The design and construction of the new icebreaker is yet another indication of the strengths of Helsinki Shipyard Oy and Aker Arctic as well as the whole Finnish marine industry network as the leading builder of icebreakers. The employment impact of the contract at the shipyard and in the marine industry network is approximately 2,100 person-years. The contract is significant for Helsinki Shipyard and brings stability to the shipyard´s order book, extending it to the end of 2024.

The new icebreaker will be the largest and most powerful diesel-electric icebreaker ever built in Finland.

Helsinki Shipyard Oy is located in the capital of Finland and specializes in shipbuilding technology and building of special vessels for demanding conditions and routes. The shipyard has a long tradition and unmatched expertise in designing and building of icebreakers and other high ice-class vessels for operations in cold environment. In addition to the arctic know-how, our specialization covers also passenger ferries and cruise ships.

The shipyard history dates back 155 years. Helsingfors Skeppsdocka was authorized to open a shipyard in Hietalahti on the 4th of March 1865. The shipyard is renowned as a pioneer in the Finnish shipbuilding industry, a substantial employer and an essential part of the history and landscape of the City of Helsinki.

Norilsk Nickel is Russia’s leading metals and mining company, No. 1 manufacturer of palladium and refined nickel, and one of the biggest platinum and copper producers in the worl. Nornickel’s shares are listed on the Moscow Exchange. Its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) are traded on the US OTC market, as well as on the OTC markets of the London, Berlin, and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

Nornickel’s core businesses are represented by vertically integrated metals and mining operations. They include Norilsk Division (located on the Taimyr Peninsula in Russia), Kola Division including Kola MMC (located on the Kola Peninsula in Russia), and Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta (located in Finland), and also Zabaykalsky Division. In addition to the production facilities, Nornickel operates captive global sales network and owns a wide range of R&D facilities, fuel and energy assets, river fleet, river and seaport terminals, and a unique Arctic cargo sea fleet.

Aker Arctic Technology Inc is an independent company specializing in development, design, engineering, consulting and testing services for ice-going vessels, icebreakers, offshore marine structures, marine transport solutions and ports. The company has the most references for providing continuous development and advanced, effective icebreaker designs. Innovations such as the double acting ship and oblique icebreaker concepts also originate from Aker Arctic.