Norilsk Nickel, or Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel, announced the construction of an icebreaker of the Icebreaker8 class. Helsinki Shipyard Oy has signed contracts for the supply of basic equipment for the icebreaker, and the ship model developed by the Finnish design bureau Aker Arctic has already successfully passed ice and open water tests.
Norilsk Nickel and Helsinki Shipyard Oy are building an icebreaker that meets environmental safety standards. The navigation area of the vessel will be the Yenisei River basin, the Yenisei Bay, and the Kara Sea. The new icebreaker will complement Norilsk Nickel’s Arctic fleet, which consists of six vessels of the enhanced ice class Arc7, five container ships and one tanker of the enhanced ice class.
As specified, the construction of the icebreaker will begin in 2022. It is expected that Norilsk Nickel will receive it by the winter season of 2025. The icebreaker’s tasks will be to lay a channel in the Yenisei for the company’s Arc7 ice class vessels and tow additionally chartered Arc5 class cargo ships with a deadweight of up to 20,000 tonnes. The icebreaker’s home port will be Murmansk.
“It is important for the company that the construction of the new icebreaker be completed by the end of 2024. This will make it possible to expand the transport capacities necessary for the implementation of strategic investment projects of Norilsk, as well as programmes for the renovation of Norilsk,” the Senior Vice President of the company, Sergey Dubovitsky, said.
He explained that the vessel will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in accordance with modern environmental trends in decarbonization and will become the first LNG icebreaker conducting ships on the Northern Sea Route.
In addition, the new icebreaker will be equipped with a dual-fuel power plant capable of running on both LNG and low-sulfur diesel fuel, which will improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The new vessel will be able to move in snow-covered ice up to two metres thick stern forward or stern backward. In addition, the vessel will be equipped with a helipad, and will also be able to transport cargo.