Finland's new icebreaker Polaris named at Helsinki Shipyard
The naming ceremony of the new-generation icebreaker built at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard took place on December 11, says Finnish Transport Agency. In keeping with old shipbuilding tradition, a bottle of champagne was broken against the hull of the ship during the name-giving event. Paula Risikko, Second Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, serves as the vessel's godmother.
The nearly 110 metres long vessel under construction at Helsinki Shipyard differs from previous icebreakers in various ways. Finnish technological innovations, such as ice-strengthened propulsion units and an effective oil recovery system integrated into the hull, have been used in the vessel design and construction. The unique icebreaker will be powered by both diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will significantly reduce both carbon emissions and fuel costs. Upon completion, Polaris will be the most environmentally friendly icebreaker in the world.
The new icebreaker has been designed especially for the demanding icebreaking operations in the Baltic Sea, and it will be fitted for oil recovery and emergency towing. The name Polaris refers to both the North Star, an important navigational star for seafarers on northern seas, and to the polar class of the ship, enabling operations in multi-year ice conditions.
"The naming of a Finnish icebreaker is a great occasion for the shipyard and for the entire Finnish maritime sector. We hope to see more of these events in the future”, said Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director of Helsinki Shipyard.
"It is our responsibility to provide the operating framework for winter navigation and to ensure effective year-round seaborne transport in Finland. We warmly welcome the new icebreaker, which will provide added icebreaking capacity", said Antti Vehviläinen, Director General of the Finnish Transport Agency.
"The ice and weather conditions on the Baltic Sea vary greatly and are difficult to anticipate. The Polaris will meet the needs of Finnish winter navigation to an even greater extent”, stated Tero Vauraste, CEO of Arctia Shipping Ltd.
“Polaris is a great example of Finnish Arctic know-how. It is an honour to be the vessel’s godmother. The best of luck and safe sailings to Polaris”, wished Paula Risikko, Second Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament.
After Christmas, the Polaris will be floated out of the construction hall and moved to the outfitting quay for final outfitting and commissioning. The icebreaker will adorn the streetscape of Hietalahti, until she will be handed over to her owner in winter 2016.