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Wärtsilä to power first LNG icebreaker

A set of five Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines will power the world’s first LNG-fuelled icebreaker, under construction at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in Finland.

Due for launch in late 2015, the vessel will be equipped with one 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF, two 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF, and two 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF engines, which will be delivered in spring of 2015.

Able to break a 25 m channel through 1.2 m thick ice at a steady rate of 6 knots, the vessel will be capable of operating in the northernmost reaches of the Baltic sea all year round, and equipped to perform oil spill response and emergency towing operations as well as icebreaking.

Although the biggest icebreakers are powered by nuclear reactors, allowing them to stay at sea for vast periods of time without docking, Arctech’s vessel would require no management of nuclear waste, prompting Arctech Helsinki md Esko Mustamäki’s claim that “By being able to use LNG fuel, the vessel will be the most environmentally friendly icebreaker ever built.”

The combination of ice breaking power and environmental sustainability is difficult to achieve, but our dual-fuel engine technology has the capabilities needed," says Aaron Bresnahan, vp of sales at Wärtsilä Ship Power. "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.”

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