Canadian Coast Guard Acquires Commercial Light Icebreaker

Canadian Coast Guard buys icebreaker in commercial market
Mangystau-2 was acuried to support a fleet renewal program (Canadian Coast Guard)

Published Nov 12, 2021 3:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

Canada acquired its fourth icebreaker in the secondhand market as part of an effort to increase the available equipment for the Coast Guard to support an ongoing fleet renewal effort. Unlike the first three medium-sized icebreakers, the fourth purchase is of a commercial light icebreaker that will require a conversion before going on permanent assignment.

The 216-foot long shallow draft icebreaker tug was built in 2010 by STX Braila in Romania and has been operating in the Caspian Sea as the Mangystau-2. The Canadian Coast Guard acquired the vessel for C$46.2 million (US$36.6 million)    from Atlantic Towing Limited based in New Brunswick, Canada. The vessel will be repositioned from Turkmenistan expected to arrive before the end of the year at the Canadian Coast Guard’s Prescott base in Ontario.

"Ensuring that the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to do its job safely and effectively is a clear priority for the government. The purchase of this light icebreaker will allow for the continued delivery of Coast Guard services while ensuring the existing fleet can be repaired and renewed. This purchase will ensure vital shipping routes remain navigable year-round while generating good jobs in our Canadian shipyards," said the Honorable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Once the icebreaker arrives in Canada, the Coast Guard plans to undertake a thorough inspection and plan design work for the conversion of the vessel. In early 2022, the Coast Guard expects to issue a tender for the refit work.

"While this newest vessel needs upgrades to meet the Coast Guard requirements before she sails under our colors, I look forward to the day that I can stand on the main deck of the Coast Guard's newest light icebreaker," said Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard.

When the vessel officially joins the Coast Guard, it will be assigned to perform icebreaking duties as well as tend the Coast Guard's navigational buoys in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and Atlantic regions. In addition, the vessel will be available for search and rescue duties when needed.

The Canadian Coast Guard highlights that this purchase along with the three other medium icebreakers were acquired to supplement the existing fleet. They will be used to maintain the services including keeping major waterways open as the Coast Guard proceeds with planned maintenance periods for the existing fleet.