Public Publications / 08.09.2023

The next step is being taken towards new icebreakers

Now the Swedish Maritime Administration is going ahead with the next step in the procurement of two new icebreakers for the shipyards that qualified.

The Swedish state icebreakers start singing on the last verse and must be replaced. Ale, Atle, Frej, and Ymer have been in operation for half a century, and Oden for 34 years. Following the government’s announcement about the funding, the Swedish Maritime Administration is now proceeding with the procurement of two new icebreakers. The goal is for the first new icebreaker to operate in 2027.

The design of the new Swedish icebreakers has been done by Finnish Aker Arctic Technology in close collaboration with the Swedish Maritime Administration, and the procurement with shipyards began last winter.

First qualifying round completed
After a first qualification round, only those shipyards that have passed the Swedish Maritime Administration’s requirements may continue to participate in the procurement. These shipyards now receive additional information to be able to submit concrete tenders.

“Among other things, the new icebreakers will be the first in the world to run on methanol in addition to regular diesel. They must be able to run completely fossil-free by 2030 at the latest”, says Fredrik Backman, shipping director at the Swedish Maritime Administration in a press release.

According to the Swedish Maritime Administration, the static icebreakers are of great importance for shipping to and from Sweden to be able to function all year round. Normally, the ice-breaking season runs from December to the end of May.

32-meter-wide chute
As ever larger ships will take up space in the fairways to the Swedish ports in the north, the new icebreakers must be able to break a channel that is 32 meters wide, even though they will not be more than 27.5 meters wide. This is possible thanks to the fact that power from the rudder propellers can be directed out from the ship and break the ice, writes the Swedish Maritime Administration in the press release. It is more energy efficient, a larger hull requires more energy, and less steel is needed to manufacture the hull.

*This article has been translated from Swedish. The original piece can be found at:

Nu tas nästa steg mot nya isbrytare