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Home BUSINESSHaavisto prefers to assess viability before purchase of ice breaker
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Sat, 25 Jan, 2014 03:53:03 AM
FTimes-STT Report, January 25
File picture of Ice Breaker. Photo Lehtikuva.
The Minister for International Development, Pekka Haavisto, on Friday said the assessment of economic viability and the evaluation of the designated need were essential to decide on the purchase of a new ice breaker.
Pointing at the recent tender for purchase of an ice breaker from Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, Haavisto said the Finnish shipyard companies were always welcome to receive such tender but it was also very important to ensure economic viability of the acquisition of a new ice breaker.
Debates have also been raised recently on the use of ice breakers for oil extraction in the Arctic Ocean.
According to Haavisto, the main interest of the state was to ensure secure navigation in the Baltic Sea.
The government is scheduled to assess the operating strategy of the ice breakers in spring.
File picture of Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. Photo Lehtikuva.
The ice breaking vessels are used to clear path for safe navigation in frozen waters as well as in activities such as research work.
In Haavisto's view, ice breakers might be involved in other operations as long as they did not pose risk to the environment and not incur more burdens to Finnish taxpayers.
Arctech Helsinki Shipyard will build the new icebreaker for the Finnish Transport Agency, said a press release.
Earlier, on Wednesday the Finnish Transport Agency, after a tender, decided to make the purchase order to procure a new icebreaker for renewing the aging fleet of state-owned icebreakers, improving the level of icebreaker services and ensuring the competitiveness of Finnish exports.
The procurement is worth EUR 123 million and the final contract will be signed by the end of February. The vessel will be delivered by winter 2016.
The new icebreaker of the Finnish Transport Agency features the highest technology and has been designed especially for the demanding icebreaking operations in the Baltic Sea.
The vessel will be able to move continuously through about 1.6 m thick ice, to break a 25 meter wide channel in 1.2 meter thick ice at speed of 6 knots, as well as to reach 9-11 knots of average assistance speed in the Baltic Sea. In open water, the service speed will be minimum 16 knots.
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