Steerprop to Provide Cutting-Edge Ice-Classed Bow Thrusters for Canadian Coast Guard’s Polar Icebreaker

Navigating the Arctic Frontiers: Steerprop’s Innovative Thrusters Chosen for Canada’s Next-Gen Polar Icebreaker


Finnish marine propulsion systems designer and manufacturer, Steerprop, renowned for its high-performance solutions, has secured a pivotal role in the development of the Canadian Coast Guard’s groundbreaking Polar Icebreaker. The esteemed vessel, a critical component of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, is set to be constructed by Seaspan Shipyards, emerging as one of the most formidable icebreakers globally upon completion.

Steerprop’s contribution to this monumental project involves the supply of two advanced arctic tunnel thrusters specifically tailored to navigate the most challenging ice conditions. Notably, these thrusters exhibit a distinctive ice-strengthened design, obviating the need for tunnel grids, thereby enhancing their efficacy in extreme environments. This marks Steerprop’s inaugural delivery of such a pioneering ice-strengthened tunnel thruster, signaling a significant advancement in tunnel thruster performance and reliability. The comprehensive delivery package also encompasses a sophisticated bridge control system and an offline oil filtering system.

Leveraging its extensive experience in delivering ice-classed solutions, Steerprop has meticulously crafted an optimal propulsion solution for the Polar Icebreaker, aligning seamlessly with the vessel’s operational profile. Beyond performance optimization, the fully integrated propulsion system enhances reliability, safety, and cost-effectiveness while minimizing maintenance requirements over its lifecycle.

The Polar Icebreaker, a versatile multi-mission vessel boasting a displacement of 27,876 tonnes, will span 150 meters in length, 28 meters in width, and accommodate up to 100 personnel. Garnering a Polar Class 2 (PC2) rating, the second-highest ice class according to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), the icebreaker will operate in more challenging ice conditions, including multi-year ice, for extended periods, surpassing the capabilities of its Canadian counterparts.

Russell Davison, Vice President of Coast Guard Programs at Seaspan, emphasizes the critical role the Polar Icebreaker will play in safeguarding the Arctic coastline, supporting local communities, ensuring arctic sovereignty, and facilitating high-Arctic scientific endeavors. He underscores the significance of Steerprop’s propulsion solution in ensuring the vessel’s reliability and efficiency amid the harsh Arctic conditions.

Juho Rekola, Director of Sales and Project Management at Steerprop, underscores the paramount importance of extreme reliability in arctic operations. Drawing on Steerprop’s commitment to ultimate dependability, he highlights the propulsion system’s ability to perform consistently in the face of demanding conditions. The tailored design of the thrusters, coupled with Steerprop’s extensive experience, culminates in an optimized solution attuned to the Polar Icebreaker’s unique requirements.

Steerprop’s legacy in icebreaker propulsion dates back to 2008, with continued success and operational insights garnered from vessels traversing the Baltic Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The selection of Steerprop for the Polar Icebreaker affirms the company’s standing as a trusted partner in delivering cutting-edge propulsion solutions for the most demanding maritime applications.

(Photo from Steerprop)


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