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Finnish icebreaker tests novel oil spill equipment

The IB Polaris icebreaker was completed last year, in time for Finland’s centenary celebration. Credits: : Arctia

Featuring the world’s first in-built oil recovery system, Finnish icebreaker IB Polaris has begun testing the equipment off the coast of Helsinki, Finland.

IB Polaris is state-owned Arctia’s latest icebreaker, which is now ready to offer oil recovery services in the Baltic Sea and Arctic waters to potential customers.

In addition to testing the in-built oil recovery equipment provided by Finnish family enterprise Lamor, the exercise focused on efficient manoeuvring and operation of the vessel in an oil recovery situation.

“The oil recovery preparedness of IB Polaris and also other icebreakers would be sensible in order to safeguard a sufficient level of oil recovery preparedness in the Gulf of Finland and the entire northern Baltic Sea,” says Eero Hokkanen, Arctia’s communications manager. “In winter, icebreakers work at hubs for merchant vessel traffic, and equipping them to operate as oil recovery vessels would significantly enhance the current level of preparedness for oil spill response.”

The IB Polaris exercise is part of Arctia’s normal autumn testing of its icebreaker fleet, the objective of which is to ensure the vessels are ready for icebreaking duties when winter sets in.

Another Arctia icebreaker to make headlines recently is the MSV Nordica, which set the record last year for the earliest crossing of the Northwest Passage, highlighting the effects of man-made climate change.

Interested to learn how a number of Finnish companies united to build the eco-friendly IB Polaris? Read our feature here.

Published on 28.09.2018