Finnyards LTD has delivered the first multipurpose icebreaker and is building another for the Finnish National Board of Navigation. The first vessel was delivered in March 1993 and the second one will be delivered in January 1994. The multipurpose icebreakers are of a completely new type of vessels. The hull form combines successfully the functions and requirements of two completely different vessel types: an ice· breaker and an ocean going offshore vessel with good sea keeping properties. The vessels are used as icebreakers on the Baltic Sea in wintertime and for summer/autumn seasons they are chartered to the Norwegian Ugland Offshore AS company to be used on the North Sea for cable and pipe laying as well as for many other offshore operations. To guarantee the vessels" superior manoeuvring properties both in ice and in open water the vessels are equipped with two azimuth propulsion units of 7500 kW each, being the most powerful of this kind in the world, and with three bow thrusters. For accurate track/position keeping a fully redundant dynamic positioning system has been installed on board the vessels.
Finland is situated in northern Europe between 60th and 70th latitudes having its only sea connection abroad through the Baltic Sea which is more or less frozen every winter. Finland's economy is very much depending on sea transport both in export (pulp, paper, timber products etc.) and in import (oil, coal, consumer goods etc.). That's why it is vital to Finland to have its sea routes kept open even during the hardest winters. This fact has lead to the situation that Finland has a unique fleet of nine effective icebreakers. But the thought of a "multipurpose vessel" became more realistic only in the beginning of the nineties.