ABB to supply electric power plant and propulsion units for a Finnish icebreaker

Azipod® technology will power Finnish Transport Agency’s new generation LNG icebreaker

12 May, 2014 – ABB, a global leader in power and automation technology, has secured a new order to supply electric power plant and Azipod propulsion units for one ice breaker vessel built for Finnish Transport Agency (FTA) at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. The competitive bidding was done between several suppliers.

Due for delivery in 2016 and set for operation in the Baltic Sea, the new vessel is featuring dual fuel capability, and as such will be the first icebreaker in operation able to run using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel, cutting both emissions and fuel cost.

In fact, the concept designers at Aker Arctic Technology and ILS were instructed to select the industry’s most advanced technologies to meet icebreaking conditions in the Baltic Sea year-round, and to perform open sea oil spill response and towing duties in summer and winter. Basic design of the vessel is done by Arctech. Once operational, the new vessel is expected to attract worldwide attention to Finnish arctic expertise.

Central to the vessel’s performance expectations will be its three-pod propulsion solution, with a 6MW Azipod unit at the bow and two 6.5MW units at the stern included to optimize efficiency and maneuverability in ice-ridge conditions in particular.

“The safety of seaborne transport in the Baltic Sea is under political and regulatory scrutiny as never before, making FTA’s preference for ABB’s power and propulsion technology based on our proven references” says Heikki Soljama, head of ABB’s Marine and Cranes business unit. “Once more, the system’s performance and its ease of maintenance have proved critical factors in the selection process. It is no coincidence that the most forward-looking icebreaker designs invariably feature podded propulsion.”

The new Finnish icebreaker is a great continuation for the cooperation between ABB and Helsinki shipyard. In fact, back in year 1987, the Azipod propulsion system was developed in close cooperation between ABB and Helsinki shipyard combining the expertise of electrotechnical experts and shipbuilders. ABB can trace its supply record of icebreaker electric propulsion technology to the Finnish market back 75 years, to the 1939 delivery of the icebreaker Sisu to the Finnish Government, which featured electric propulsion systems from Stromberg. The wide adoption of Azipod propulsion technology in ice-breaking field has strengthened ABB’s reputation too fulfil even the most demanding sea transportation performance requirements. ABB has delivered electric propulsion systems to over 80 icebreakers or ice-going vessels with a propulsion power of up to 36 MW.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.

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ABB Media Relations:
Marine and Cranes
Johanna Puustinen
Tel: +47 2287 2736