Renewal of Sweden's icebreaker fleet – prestudy completed
It is a major infrastructure initiative to renew Sweden's icebreaker fleet. The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) has procured expertise from SSPA to support them with several investigations and the results are utilized in a prestudy. Our experts have conducted investigations and analyses within ten different areas in order to find answers of key issues and to support the decision-making process. In the prestudy, SMA concluded that the design of the first new icebreaker should begin shortly and by 2030 the five state-owned icebreakers, existing today will either be replaced or life-time extended.
The SMA is responsible for the Swedish icebreaking service, and owns five icebreakers. The icebreakers and their activities are an important feature of the Swedish infrastructure, to function in the winter and to facilitate the ports to be open all year round. Icebreakers provide merchant ship assistance by monitoring, directing, leading and towing. During part of the year, when the icebreakers are not allocated to their "regular duties", they are sometimes assigned to research projects.
The work of transforming today's fleet to the future is carried out in a project called IB 2020 (Icebreaker 2020). The project is divided into several phases and the first phase has been to obtain a prestudy that describes the conditions, opportunities and risks of replacing the existing icebreaker fleet. SMA’s project group has presented the prestudy for the Swedish Government and the Board of the Swedish Maritime Administration.
SSPA’s experts have conducted investigations and analyses within ten different areas, in order to find answers of key issues and to support the decision-making process. Our assignment has among other things included a forecast of future tonnage in the Gulf of Bothnia, to estimate the need of future icebreakers, an analyse of the alternatives of possible fuels, a study of diverse options of hybrid operations, a study on different propulsion concepts, feasibility studies and life cycle cost analysis.
- “It is estimated that the first icebreaker could be operational early in winter 2021/22 and we hope that we can support with our expertise in further phases of the project”, says Magnus Forsberg, Project Manager and Head of SSPA Stockholm.
Engineers’ impression, a principle illustration that shows different parts of the IB 2020 concept. Illustration: SSPA Sweden