Arctech Helsinki Shipyard delivered the most powerful newcomer in the Finnish Icebreaker fleet, the Polaris, to the Finnish Transport Agency on 28th September 2016. The Finnish Transport Agency handed the vessel over to Arctia Icebreaking Oy. The prototype vessel built at Helsinki Shipyard is designed to serve for at least 50 years in icebreaking, oil recovery and sea rescue operations. The vessel is the first of her type to be able to use either LNG or low sulphur diesel oil as fuel. The 110m long/24.40m beam, 9,300gt and 17 knot vessel complies with the international IMO Tier III emission standards and special requirement for Sulphur emissions in the Baltic Sea and is equipped with three Azipod propulsion units rotating 360° which enables first-rate manoeuvring qualities. The icebreaking capacity of the Polaris is 1.8 m thick ice at a speed of 3.5 knots. The ship is powered by two Wärtsilä 6000 kW, two 4500 kW and one 1280 kW engines. The azimuth propeller units are ABB 65000kW Azipods at the stern and one 6000kW unit in the bow. The vessel’s bollard pull capability is 214t.

Associated British Ports marked the latest in a series of multi-million pound investments in the port of Southampton by inviting the Rt. Hon John Hayes CBE MP to open its brand new vessel traffic service (VTS) operating room on 21st September. The Minister of State at the Department of Transport was in attendance as ABP revealed its £4m investment in a new office with state-of-the-art equipment at Ocean Gate, Southampton, which will be manned on a 24/7 basis. The port’s vessel traffic service staff are responsible for the daily management of one of Britain’s busiest waterways, co-ordinating the movements of some of the world’s largest container ships and cruise liners, right down to small yachts and leisure boats. The new technology includes a radar system, Automatic Identification System (AIS), CCTV cameras and fibre optic cabling.

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This latest announcement follows the port’s recent £50 million investment in vehicle handling facilities, and £8.3 million upgrade of its Fresh Produce Terminal. ABP Southampton added to its trophy case upon scooping a major international award for Port of the Year at the Seatrade Cruise Awards in Tenerife on 22nd September. The awards, which reward excellence across the cruise industry, recognised ABP Southampton for significant investment in all four cruise terminals, through partnership with both Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean International (RCI), enabling the evolving demands of the cruise industry to be met. The award also recognised the recent resecuring of Southampton as RCl’s home port, in a seven-year deal worth over £200 million to the local economy. Also shortlisted in the Port of the Year category was the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Hong Kong, as well as the Ports of Tenerife. ABP has also announced an investment of £50 million to expand vehicle handling facilities at the port.

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