IB Polaris is the first icebreaker in the world to use an LNG engine and has bunkered LNG at the Tornio LNG terminal in Röyttä Harbour. Polaris joined the fleet of Finland’s icebreaker operator Arctia in September 2016. Except the use of LNG, the lubricant used in the vessel’s propulsion system is biodegradable. The ship’s gray water, which basically consists of showering water, is collected to a container which is emptied during port calls.
Mainly, until now the most suitable terminal was located in Pori, which wasn’t convenient for Polaris’ operating area in the end of the Bothnian Bay.
Some LNG was being delivered by truck. Yet, Polaris mostly relied on diesel.
Moreover, Polaris is the first icebreaker to have an in-built oil recovery system. The equipment was trialled off the coast of Helsinki on 2018. With its equipment, the Polaris is able to collect about 1,400m³ of oil at one go with a rate of 200 m³/h in harsh weather and ice conditions.
Additionally, the vessel has three A zipod propulsion units rotating 360 degrees that enables is to easily maneuvre.
Polaris’ icebreaking capacity is 1.2 metres at a speed of six knots. In a real oil recovery state, the speed of the vessels is low, close to two knots.
Arctia says it is now ready to offer oil recovery services in Arctic waters in addition to the Baltic Sea.
Concluding, Markus Karjalainen, Head of the Winter Navigation Unit of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency noted
This is the third winter in the demanding, icy conditions of the northern Baltic Sea for the world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker. Polaris has met our expectations with flying colours proving that it is truly a next generation icebreaker.