Finland wants to sell on-order icebreaker

The Finnish government is ready to sell an icebreaker ordered for the Finnish Transport Agency which was intended to compete for business with the state-owned Arctia Shipping Company.

The vessel, on order from the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, is to be introduced into service within the next few years. The original project budget for the ship was set at 125 million euros. The name of a possible buyer has not been released, but in practice is unlikely to be any other than Arctia Shipping, for use by its Arctia Icebreaking subsidiary.

“What is most important is guaranteeing icebreaking capacity and winter navigation. Under the arrangements now decided, this can be done in a cost efficient manner and without straining the state budget,” says Sirpa Paatero, the cabinet minister who oversees state ownership affairs.

According to Paatero, Arctia Shipping will be able to continue to help finance icebreaking operations in Finnish waters by leasing vessels in its fleet for use elsewhere. Under policy guidelines established by the government’s economic policy committee on Tuesday, Arctia Shipping can continue to engage in operations in Arctic areas.

According to the government, Arctia Shipping will have to replace its entire fleet by 2029 at a cost of one billion euros.

Related stories from around the North:

Asia:  Full steam ahead for Asian icebreakers in the Arctic this summer, Blog by Mia Bennett

Canada: Canada’s Arctic patrol ships – A $250M mystery, CBC News

Finland: New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News

Russia: Russian yard delays delivery of icebreaker, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Swedish icebreakers gear up for Arctic role, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. icebreaker fleet will need makeover by about 2020, Coast Guard says, Alaska Dispatch

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