Scandinavian ports, especially the ports in the northern Baltic Sea, face a regular challenge every year — ice. In an INTERREG-project led by the Lulea˚ University of Technology, SSPA Sweden AB conducted a study to gain insight into the problems related to winter traffic in Swedish ports. This research is intended to lead to the identification of technical solutions to ease winter navigation in the ports. The state icebreakers have been making navigation possible all year round since the nineteen seventies by assisting ships sailing in ice-covered waters. In Sweden, the local port owner is responsible for breaking channels and assisting arriving and departing vessels. All port owners along the east coast of Sweden have been interviewed to get an overview of the local ice conditions and their impact on the traffic. Specific emphasis was put on the collection and analysis of different ice-reducing measures currently used in the ports. These include mechanical (e.g., ice breaking) and thermal (e.g., waste water discharge) measures. The distribution and range of applications and most importantly the experiences gained from the different measures have been described and summarised. The efficiency of the different measures has been investigated and compared to predictions of theoretical calculations. In the analyses of the ice-reducing measures, the effects of different measures have been studied, a cost-benefit assessment for different ice-reducing measures has been included and the environmental impact studied. Most of the ports base their ice management only on the utilization of an icebreaking tug boat even though other measures could play a decisive roll in ice handling. High pressure on quay structures occurs as a consequence of the berthing of ships in ice-covered ports. This pressure represents a regular source of damage. Manoeuvring and reversing in ice can further lead to damages of the propeller and rudder of the ice-going vessels. In addition other problems like icing on ships and equipment was looked at. Repairs and other extra costs due to winter navigation for the port and — indirectly — the ship owners can be seen as a commercial disadvantage. Identification of costs caused by the winter conditions was therefore an important part of our analysis. The results of the research have been compared with a similar study performed in Finland and a further literature study was conducted to recommend efficient improvements for the port owners.

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