Kontio is the only icebreaker with oil recovery system equipment aboard. Outside the ice breaking season, the vessel is in a continuous state of preparedness for oil spill response operations in the northern section of the Baltic Sea.
Launched in 1987, Kontio was designed with particular attention given to improved ice-breaking efficiency in the Baltic Sea conditions.
Thanks to Kontio's efficient hull design, based on a twin-propeller construction and a relatively small crew, the vessel's operational cost is significantly lower compared to previous vessels. Kontio's machinery is similar to that onboard Otso, an icebreaker launched one year before Kontio.
With the exception of the captain, the 20 crewmembers on Kontio work double shifts.
Because of their cost-efficiency, Kontio and Otso, both painted blue and white, are normally the first icebreakers to leave Arctia's Katajanokka base for deployment in the northern reaches of the Gulf of Bothnia. In early and late winter, they operate as far north as Tornio, withdrawing southward as the ice conditions change, when Urho and Sisu assume responsibility for ice breaking in the northern Gulf of Bothnia.
Icebreaker with an oil recovery capability
Kontio is the only icebreaker with oil recovery equipment onboard. Conversion to oil recovery capability was carried out in 2010, with funding provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The oil recovery equipment was supplied by the Finnish company Lamor.
Kontio's tanks can hold over 2,000 m3 of collected oil and it has two separate oil collection systems.
This self-powered oil recovery system runs on a dedicated hydraulic power unit. One of the oil collection systems is based on rigid sweeping arms, which float next to the vessel's hull and guide the oil into the oil recovery system. The oil collectors attached to the rigid sweeping arms can be either suction pumps or brush skimmers.
Outside ice breaking season, Kontio is in full preparedness for oil spill response operations