First new Swedish icebreaker could be ready in 2028

By Lennart Håkansson, North Sweden Business - April 25, 2024
Joel Smith
The Swedish Maritime Administration’s acting Director General Joel Smith. Photo: Lennart Håkansson

The procurement of the Swedish Maritime Administration’s two new icebreakers must be redone, and the first icebreaker can be in place no earlier than 2027-28.

This was stated by the Swedish Maritime Administration’s acting Director General Joel Smith at Wednesday’s conference in Luleå on the future of shipping. When the procurement period ended in January, the Swedish Maritime Administration had not received any valid or acceptable tender. Therefore, a new procurement is being made.

While the procurement is dragging on, new icebreakers are becoming increasingly expensive. Prices have now risen by 30-40 per cent for steel and components.

“The procurement can be completed this autumn. But that’s assuming that we get valid bids and that no appeal is requested by the losing bidder,” says Mr Smith.

In the best case scenario, a new icebreaker could be delivered in 2027. The Swedish Maritime Administration needs three new large icebreakers to replace the old icebreaker fleet. Two new icebreakers have long been promised in the national transport plan. It is unclear when icebreaker number two can be in place. Earlier this winter, the Swedish Maritime Administration bought a smaller, second-hand icebreaker, Idun. The Swedish icebreaker fleet is stationed in the port of Luleå.

The acting Director General of the Swedish Maritime Administration was one of the speakers at the conference Shipping of the Future. Other speakers included Rear Admiral Jens Nykvist, who spoke about the increased importance of the Baltic Sea now that Sweden has joined NATO, and representatives of Svensk Sjöfart, Parachute Consulting, LKAB, Luleå kommunföretag, Uniper, DNV, IVL, Rise, Shorelink, ABB, H2 Green Steel and Finnish Soumen Hyötytuuli Oy.

The conference The Future of Shipping (Framtidens sjöfart) was organised by Norrbotten Chamber of Commerce. The conference was held at Clarion Hotel Sense in Luleå and was sold out with a waiting list.

Lennart Håkansson, North Sweden Business

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