An azimuthing, pulling thruster developed by Wärtsilä and designed to 1A Super Ice Class or higher standards. The thruster structure and propeller are engineered for the high ice loadings borne when running both astern and forward in level ice, and when encountering large ice blocks and penetrating ice ridges stern-first. ICEPOD has been conceived with special consideration of shallow draught requirements and of installation space limitations. The Z-drive configuration permits a low-height, inboard thruster room, maximising hull volume utilisation or working deck area. The rigid mounting can is shaped to form an integral part of the icebreaking aftship section.
An additional design consideration was the particular challenge of dealing with technical problems when operating in remote areas, with the result that the thruster can be removed or exchanged without the use of a drydock or habitat. Given the particular environmental sensitivity of ice-laden regions, a four-lip seal has been adopted to prevent oil leakage, water ingress and oil contamination. The high-end seal system is well suited to shallow draught conditions.
Wärtsilä provided the first- ever ICEPOD for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The two can-mounted ICEPOD2500 thrusters were delivered in the first quarter of 2012 for the research vessel SIKULIAQ. In the same year the ice-breaking multipurpose support vessel SANABORG equipped with two ICEPOD1750 thrusters was delivered by Royal Niestern Sander.