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State Port Register



Icebreaking Begins in Gulf of Finland

On 21 February 2017, icebreaking activities begin in the Gulf of Finland, in the Port of Sillamäe area where hummocked ice is hindering vessel traffic and ships with less powerful main engines require icebreaker assistance. The area is going to be serviced by the I/B Botnica that heads for Sillamäe on Tuesday.

The Botnica is owned by TS Shipping, a subcompany of AS Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn) and for 4.7 million euros a year the state can use it for icebreaking operations during the winter navigation season in the Gulf of Finland from 2012 to 2022.

The second icebreaker, the Tarmo, owned by the state, is on standby in Hundipea Harbour. The state offers icebreaking service to ships entering or leaving Estonian ports; in the port water area icebreaking operations are the responsibility of the port itself.

According to a directive (No. 1-1-1/35-OP, of 20 February 2017) by the Director General of the Maritime Administration, as of 01 March 2017, 00:00 hrs, all ships entering or leaving the Port of Sillamäe and assisted by an icebreaker are required to have ice class Fin Adm II (or an equivalent ice class given by other classification societies) and main engine power no less than 1200 kW. Barges towed by tugboats will not be given icebreaker assistance.

The last time the state had to organise icebreaking activities in the Gulf of Finland was in the winter of 2013.

The current location of the Botnica can be seen at

In the photo: the Botnica on Tallinn Bay (photo by Priit Põiklik)