World’s first LNG fuelled icebreaker to be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines

Wärtsilä Corporation
  • Press release
10 June 2014 at 12:30 PM FLE Standard Time

A new icebreaker being built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard for the Finnish Transport Agency will be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines capable of operating on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and low sulphur diesel fuel. When launched in late 2015, it will be the first LNG-powered icebreaker in the world.

Wärtsilä’s industry leading track record in dual-fuel engine technology was a crucial factor in the award of the contract. By enabling LNG to be used as the engine fuel, both exhaust emissions and fuel costs are notably reduced. The impressive power output per cylinder of the Wärtsilä engines was also cited as a factor in the contract award decision. The full scope of supply calls for one 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF, two 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF, and two 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF engines. The contract was signed in March 2014, and delivery of the equipment to the yard will be made in spring 2015.

“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,” says Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

“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,” says Aaron Bresnahan, Vice President, Sales, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

The vessel will be able to move continuously through 1.6 meter thick ice, and be capable of breaking a 25 meter wide channel in 1.2 meter thick ice at a speed of 6 knots. It will also be able to reach an average assistance speed of 9 to 11 knots and in open water the service speed will be a minimum of 16 knots. While the main purpose of the vessel is icebreaking, it will independently be able to perform oil spill response operations and emergency towing under demanding conditions both in winter and summer. The vessel will, therefore, operate all year round to ensure safe seaborne transports in the Baltic Sea.

Link to image
Caption: The new icebreaker built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard for the Finnish Transport Agency and powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines will be the most environmentally friendly icebreaker ever built.

Information about Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines.

For further information please contact:

Mika Ojutkangas
General Manager
Wärtsilä Ship Power
Tel. +358 10 709 3625  

Ms Marit Holmlund-Sund
Senior Manager Marketing, Communications
Wärtsilä Ship Power
Tel: +358 10 709 1439  


Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.

In 2013, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.7 billion with approximately 18,700 employees. The company has operations in more than 200 locations in nearly 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.