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World’s first motorised detachable ice-breaking bow sets sail

The bow was launched at the Turku Repair Yard in Naantali.FTIA

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) has launched the world’s first self-propelled detachable bow for testing, after which it will be used in ice-breaking in the Saimaa area.

FTIA will continue the bow’s outfitting and implement the required pusher tug adjustments after the launch. Capable of handling extreme winter conditions and providing additional power with its two built-in electric motors, the bow will be used next winter by Alfons Håkans AS’s tug boat Calypso.

The groundbreaking bow was developed as a subproject of the WINMOS II (Winter Navigation Motorways of the Sea II) project, funded by the EU. The concept could give fleets more flexibility during extreme winters and reduce investment costs.

The WINMOS II project aims to develop winter navigation systems and to ensure sufficient ice-breaking capacity in the EU’s northernmost waters. The Baltic Sea is a key transport route, handling 15 per cent of the world’s maritime transports, with 2 000 vessels operating at any given time. A total of 639 million tonnes of cargo is shipped through the sea each year.

By: Samuli Ojala