Sanmar has completed the second of two unique high-performance ice-breaking tugboats custom-designed for Finland-based operator Alfons Håkans to operate all-year round in the harsh, often frozen, waters of the northern Baltic Sea.

Known as TundRA ll while under construction at Sanmar’s state-of-the-art Altinova Shipyard in Turkey, the tug has been named Helios by its new owner. It has now left Turkey and is on its way to its new home in northern Europe.

Helios, based on the TundRA 3200 design from Canadian naval architects Robert Allan Ltd, is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C main engines each driving a Kongsberg US 255 CP Z-drive, delivering a bollard pull in excess of 65 tonnes. The vessel’s electrical needs are provided by two Caterpillar C7.1 generator sets each of 118kW.

Like its twin sister Selene, which was delivered to Alfons Håkans earlier this year, the tough and versatile Helios is capable of performing multiple, diverse tasks, including escort, ship-assist, icebreaking and ice management, open sea towing, fire-fighting, small cargo transfer on deck including 20-foot containers, assistance in salvage, and oil spill recovery.

Also like its sister, the 31.5m x 12m x 5.6m Helios has a unique balanced design that combines good seakeeping and relatively high free-running speed in open water with substantial escort performance and at the same time has an effective icebreaking capability. Accomplishing all these objectives efficiently was a major design challenge and has been accomplished through careful research and analysis of the hull form.

The finished vessel is a result of close co-operation between the designer, builder and operator at every stage of the development, construction and trialling process.

The hull is designed for icebreaking with strength that is significantly above requirements of the prescribed ice class 1A to ensure safety during icebreaking operations and eliminate the possibility of structural damage and shell plate deformation. For ship-assist in berthing and unberthing the tug is fitted with all necessary equipment and fendering for two directional, bow and astern pushing and pulling.

The contract to build Selene and Helios was won after a fiercely-contested international bidding process and was Sanmar’s first venture into custom-built heavy ice-breaking tugs. It has since added Ice Class tugboats to its standard portfolio.

Cem Seven, President of Sanmar, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of this project on time and on budget. This contract was even more important than usual for us, not only because we have successfully expanded the already impressive range of technologically-advanced tugboats that we can offer clients, but also that we have shown the world that our skills and quality of workmanship, honed over 40 years, can rise to the challenge of building ground-breaking complex custom-designs for specific operational needs.”

Selene and Helios have been classed by Bureau Veritas ✠ Hull, ✠ Mach, Escort Tug, ✠ AUT-UMS, Baltic Service, Ice Class 1A, INWATERSURVEY, Green Passport-EU.