Ice broken by means of environmentally friendly fuel

The world’s first LNG icebreaker Polaris – that is, fuelled by liquefied natural gas – was transferred from a state company to Arctia’s fleet in September 2016. The vessel is fuelled by both LNG and low-sulphur diesel, purchased under Hansel’s framework agreement. Use of LNG reduces the vessel’s carbon dioxide emissions considerably.

Polaris has been specially designed for demanding icebreaking on the Baltic Sea, and it can also be used as an oil-combating vessel and for emergency towing. The vessel’s energy consumption is 40 per cent lower than that of older icebreakers.

Liquefied natural gas is the most environmentally friendly fuel for marine use. LNG does not produce any sulphur dioxide emissions, and it fulfils carbon dioxide restrictions. Liquefied natural gas is obtained by cooling natural gas to minus 160 degrees Celsius, resulting in a 600-fold reduction in volume. Because it is in liquid form, LNG can be transported with ease on land and sea, outside the range of gas pipe networks.

Ecolabel increases LNG’s environmental friendliness

LNG was included in Hansel’s selection of framework agreements owing to the needs of the Finnish Border Guard, as offshore patrol vessel Turva runs on it. The challenges related to the framework agreement have to do with continuous changes in the sector.

“We have managed to create a well-functioning framework agreement in a developing market, one which both the customers and suppliers have been happy with. Customers’ needs are listened to, and the framework agreement has worked well,” says Jesse Ruotsalainen, Category Manager for energy procurement.

The framework agreement offering liquefied natural gas carries a Hansel ecolabel. The framework agreement enables, for example, efficient combining of transports, using modern transport equipment. The supplier is committed to adhere to tightening environmental requirements. A new framework agreement will be tendered for fuels in 2017.

“The new framework agreement will include new elements, such as measures to ensure data protection and data security to be prepared for any cyber threats,” says Jesse Ruotsalainen.