Finnish innovations highlighted as country celebrates centenary

'The Finns lead the way with innovative and eco-friendly technology,' Gard said on Thursday.

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Updated on 21 Dec 2017 15:15 GMT

Protection and indemnity (P&I) insurer Gard on Thursday highlighted the work carried out by Finnish companies to develop eco-friendly innovations as the country celebrates its centenary this month.

"The Finns lead the way with innovative and eco-friendly technology," Gard said, mentioning Arctia, Viking Line, ESL Shipping, Neste, Wartsila, Aker Arctic, Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, Tallink Silja and Lamor as firms that are at "the forefront of eco-friendly innovations in shipping".

Other key players not mentioned in the list include Deltamarin, Hamina LNG and Gasum - demonstrating the extent to which the north European country is influencing change in the industry.

Helsinki-based Arctia owns and operates icebreakers and specialized service vessels in polar regions. The Polaris is the eighth vessel in Arctia's fleet and the world's first LNG-powered icebreaker; it can also use low-sulphur diesel oil as fuel. The vessel is equipped to act as an oil spill responder and has a built-in oil recovery system.

The Finnish companies involved in the designed and construction of the Polaris include Aker Arctic (concept design and testing), Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, ABB (Azipod propultion), Wartsila (engines) and Lamor (oil recovery system).

Meanwhile, Finnish firm, Viking Line, has seven passenger vessels that sail between Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The latest addition to the fleet, Viking Grace, was the first passenger vessel of its size to switch to LNG.

Viking Line has an agreement with Finnish company Norsepower to install 24-metre-high rotor sails on the Viking Grace in 2018, further reducing the vessel's carbon emissions by approximately 900 tonnes annually.

Ferry operator Tallink Silja is a subsidiary of Estonia's Tallink Group. The company's ferry, the Megastar, is an LNG-powered fast ferry capable of carrying 2,800 passengers and sails between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Dry bulk carrier firm ESL Shipping has a fleet of 17 vessels. Its dry bulk cargo vessels the Viikki and Haaga are due to commence operation in 2018 and will be two of the first large LNG-fuelled bulk carriers in the world.

Bunker supplier Neste has developed three products to meet EU Sulphur Directive (2016/802), all of which contain less than 0.1 percent sulphur. They are Neste MGO DMA, Neste MDO DMB and Neste RMB. The company has also said that it expects to shortly start offering a new 'RMG-type', 'heavier' product with a sulphur content of less than 0.1 percent and a significantly higher viscosity than the products it currently has available.