Finnish icebreaker adapted to aid Great Lakes shipping

Kværner Masa Marine and Masa-Yards Arctic Technology Center (MARC) have jointly won a contract to provide ice breaking consulting services and model testing for the new US Coast Guard Great Lakes icebreaker.

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Kværner Masa Marine and Masa-Yards Arctic Technology Center (MARC) have jointly won a contract to provide ice breaking consulting services and model testing for the new US Coast Guard Great Lakes icebreaker. This vessel is being designed by Marinette Marine Corp., a division of the Manitowoc Marine Group.

The multi-mission icebreaker, to be named Mackinaw, will replace a heavy ice-breaker vessel of the same name. Its dual activities will include keeping the Great Lakes shipping lanes open in winter and providing service aids to navigation in the summer. In addition to its main duties, the 3,800-ton vessel will perform search and rescue operations, pollution control, and security and law enforcement duties.

The 73-m-by-18.3-m vessel will employ azimuthing podded electric drives developed by Kværner Masa-Yards in conjunction with ABB Industry. MARC has pioneered the use of Azipod propulsion for icebreaking ships such as the Caspian supply vessels Arcticaborg and Antarcticaborg for Wagenborg.

MMC's icebreaking consultancy services will include a hull form feasibility study and evaluations of the vessel's icebreaking, powering, stability, seakeeping, and maneuvering performance. One of the hull forms to be studied will be the double acting concept patented by KMY and being used on two 106,000-dwt, double-acting crude oil carriers for Fortum currently under construction in Japan by SHI.

In addition, MARC will carry out an extensive ice model test program at its model ice tank in Helsinki, and KMM will supervise the open-water model tests to be carried out at SSPA in Sweden.

News of the USCG icebreaker order followed the report that Kværner ASA, the parent company of KMY, had merged its shipbuilding operations with Aker RGI. The new joint management company, Aker Kværner Yards AS, will have 12 shipyards across Europe and one each in the USA and Brazil. These yards have a total of some 13,500 employees and combined revenues of NKr20 billion. Aker Kværner Yards will be owned 50/50 by the two parent companies and will coordinate the operations of the yards to identify and realize synergies.

At the end of last year, KMY established a separate company, Piikkio Works OY - previously operating as a separate business unit within the company - as a result of a transfer of assets to the yard. KMY's reasoning behind this move is due to the independent and different nature of the activities carried out at Piikkio Works that involve building prefabricated cabin and bathroom modules, including some offshore clients in the past.

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Artist's impression of the new multi-mission icebreaker, Mackinaw, which will operate in the Great Lakes.
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