Port of Luleå 36 Metre Hybrid Icebreaker Tug

July 5, 2019

The world’s most powerful 36 metre hybrid icebreaker tug Vilja was delivered to her Owner, Port of Luleå, on June 26th, 2019 at Gondan Shipyard in Spain. On July 4th, Vilja arrived in Luleå and the crew was very satisfied with the first sailing experience and tug performance on the journey home. The vessel will soon be used for ice management, firefighting and navigation aids service duties in the Port of Luleå, Sweden and will assist ships and conduct coastal towing in the northern sector of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Vilja is a 36 metre TundRA 3600–H, Icebreaking Escort Tug designed by Robert Allan Ltd. to Ice Class 1A Super, capable of breaking 1 metre of ice at up to 3 knots. This is the most powerful icebreaking escort tug of this size in the world with hybrid/electrical propulsion.

 Vilja has a hull structure that exceeds Finnish-Swedish ice-class strength requirements and was built to the highest environmental standards.

The vessel is equipped with an innovative hybrid propulsion system featuring diesel main engines, shaft motor/generators, and electrical battery energy storage. This configuration allows effective power and fuel consumption management. The tug is capable of operating on the electrical battery power only or utilizing a single main engine in the hybrid diesel-electrical mode, or on two main engines in diesel-mechanical mode with possible battery boost. The resulting operational flexibility yields significant fuel, emissions and maintenance savings.

Vilja was designed to Lloyds Register rules with the following notation:

✠ 100A1 Escort Tug, Fi-Fi 1, ✠ LMC, UMS, Ice Class 1A Super FS, Descriptive Note “Icebreaker”

and was constructed by Gondan Shipbuilders on the Ria del Eo, Spain.

Particulars of the TundRA 3600–H tugs are:

  • Length overall: 36 m
  • Beam, moulded, extreme: 13 m
  • Depth, moulded (hull): 6.6 m
  • Maximum draft (navigational): 7.0 m


Tank capacities are:

  • Fuel oil: 150 m3
  • Potable water: 18 m3
  • Lube oil: 6 m3
  • Oily water: 6 m3
  • Sewage tank: 17 m3

The vessel’s accommodations are outfitted to high MLC compliant standards for a normal operating crew of 3 to 6 crew. The Master and Chief Engineer cabins are located on the main deck with three single crew cabins located in the lower accommodations. All cabins are equipped with second pullman bed for maximum of 10 personnel in total.

Main propulsion is a hybrid configuration with in-line shaft motor generators (M/Gs) and comprises of a pair of Wärtsilä 8L26 diesel engines, each rated at 2,720 kW at 1,000 rpm, and each driving a Rolls Royce US355 controllable pitch Z-drive unit, rated 3,100 kW at 1,000 rpm. The additional boost is provided by two shaft motor/generators, and electrical battery energy storage.

The icebreaker tug is the first vessel equipped with the Wärtsilä HY hybrid power module. The module provides optimal power management and smokeless operation.

Vilja has been equipped with Ibercisa forward escort and aft towing winches and a Palfinger Harbour duty crane.

Brunvoll RIM driven tunnel thruster has been installed in the skeg for enhanced manoeuvrability.

The electrical plant comprises two (2) Caterpillar C7.4 diesel gen-sets each with a power output of 118 ekW.

Ship handling fenders consists of a 900 x 500 cylindrical fender with 500 x 360 mm “W” block fendering below at the bow and the stern. A 350 x 350 hollow “D” fender provides protection at the main deck sheer line and along the knuckle.

On trials, the Vilja met or exceeded performance expectations with the following results:

  • Bollard pull: 89 metric tonnes in mechanical mode; 98 metric tonnes in boost mode
  • Free running speed, ahead: 14.6 knots

For more information on the TundRA 3600–H design or any other vessel designs developed by Robert Allan Ltd., please contact design@ral.ca.