Fennica, a Finnish state-owned multi-purpose icebreaker, took part in charting the seabed outside the north-eastern coast of Greenland in September, 2011.

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Finland could account for at least 30 per cent of the work involved in building new icebreakers for the United States, Ulla Lainio, the director of the maritime and offshore programme at Finpro, estimates in an interview with Kauppalehti.

The US Coast Guard is set to order a minimum of two heavy and two medium icebreakers in an attempt to beef up its presence in the increasingly contested waters around the north and south poles.

The order could ultimately be for as many as six icebreakers, Lainio adds to the commerce-oriented newspaper.

“[Rauma Marine Construction’s] shipyard has offered to build the hulls of the vessels in Finland. The Americans wouldn’t be able to build the icebreakers without assistance from Finns,” she reveals, adding that the shipyard could account for at least 30 per cent of the work involved in building each of the icebreakers.

Finpro has sought to promote co-operation between Finnish and American shipyards and to establish ties with the US Navy and US Coast Guard. A delegation consisting of its experts and representatives of domestic shipyards recently visited each of the five American shipyards that have been awarded a contract to conduct design studies and analyses pertaining to the upcoming acquisition, according to Kauppalehti.

Satu Taavitsainen (SDP) has similarly hinted at the possibility of Finland contributing to the shipbuilding project.

“During our visit [to Washington DC] we encouraged the United States to buy the best icebreakers in the world – icebreakers made in Finland,” she wrote in a blog entry after her recent visit to the United States as a representative of the Parliament’s Defence Committee.

“They don’t have the expertise to manufacture [icebreakers]. Finland has,” wrote Taavitsainen.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Arctia Shipping Oy / Handout
Source: Uusi Suomi

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