Activity 1

Study on future demand for icebreaking capacity

It is always difficult to look in to the future, but it is possible to estimate the consequences for development of different scenarios.  Some probable changes in the Baltic Sea in the future (2020-2030) concerning maritime transports that might affect the winter navigation will be identified in this study.

The demands for maritime transport are the base of dimensions of icebreaking resources.  Environmental requirements and higher fuel prices may result in less powerful engines in the merchant vessels in order to reduce emissions and fuel costs.  Such scenario will reduce the merchant vessels ability to navigate by own engine power and more assistance from icebreakers will be required.

Increasing number and sizes of merchant vessels in the Baltic Sea will affect required icebreaking capacity.  Calculations and estimations of the expected growth rate are important in order to plan for needed icebreaking capacity.

The number of large vessels which require assistance from two icebreakers is increasing.  A large vessel moves many tonnes of cargo and it is, from an economical point of view, reasoned to utilise two icebreakers to assist such vessel.  But this scenario will disturb the current system where the icebreakers are located in agreed geographic areas in order to maintain a system where the merchant vessels are delivered from one icebreaker to the next one in the system.

Activity 1 consists of four sub activities according to the descriptions below.

Sub activity 1:1

A desktop study on relevant earlier performed studies has been executed. This study also collected information about existing ice going merchant fleet’s capability, modeling and simulation of the winter navigation system, including energy and investment efficiency.

You can download the study here.

Sub activity 1:2

A desktop study has been performed on predicted impacts on the present and future merchant fleet’s independent ice going capacity, especially the effect of new regulations concerning sulphur emissions and EEDI.

You can download the study here.

Sub activity  1:3

Based on findings of the sub activities 1:1 and 1:2  totally new holistic model of the whole system performance of the winter navigation system has been done, including possibility to adjust factors like:

  • transport volumes and frequencies, including number and location of ports
  • merchant vessels size, independent ice going capacity and its factors
  • ice-conditions and ice-condition factors
  • number and capacity factors of ice-breakers

The model describing the winter traffic in the Northern Baltic Sea has been done and testing of the model has been successful. The economy model has been completed and audited by an external auditor.

Sub activity 1:4

Composition of findings of previous sub activities to indicate future development trends and requirements for optimizing the future icebreaker fleet and regulative measures for total efficiency and minimal environmental impact of the winter navigation system.