Philly Shipyard, Fincantieri partner for USCG heavy polar icebreaker programme

Philly Shipyard has partnered with Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG) to compete for the US Coast Guard's (USCG) programme to design and construct the next-generation heavy polar icebreaker.

The team, along with naval architecture and marine engineering firm, VARD, will develop a baseline icebreaker design, cost estimate and project schedule over the next year.

Philly Shipyard CEO Steinar Nerbovik said: “We could not have asked for better partners in this project than FMG and VARD, which both have a long history of successful work for the US and other governments around the world.

“And this is an ideal opportunity to apply our knowledge and expertise in commercial ship construction to a US Government programme.”

Five shipyards have been selected by the USCG to conduct a study that will help refine the vessel’s key features and performance requirements. 

The individual studies conducted by the shipyards will help the USCG finalise a ship specification and project plan that will support its mission objectives and responsibilities in the polar regions.

The plan will also allow the USCG to acquire one or more heavy polar icebreakers that are affordable to build, operate, and maintain.

The USCG is planning to award a single contract for design and construction of the heavy polar icebreaker in fiscal 2019, subject to appropriations.

To date, Philly Shipyard has delivered a total of 26 vessels.

Currently, the shipyard has two additional 50,000 dwt tankers for American Petroleum Tankers (APT), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, and two 3,600 TEU containerships for Matson Navigation Company, under construction.