On 18 June, a ceremony was held in Sobieszewo to officially commission into service two of four new icebreakers constructed as part of the EU project entitled “Construction of icebreakers for RZGW Gdańsk” co-financed by the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020, which aims at the construction of specialist vessels intended for icebreaking operations on the Lower Vistula River.
The leading icebreaker PUMA and the line icebreaker NARWAL have been successfully tested in winter conditions and have thus taken up service on the Lower Vistula.
The incorporation of these two, and in the future a total of four, vessels is of great importance for the flood protection of the lower reaches of the Vistula.
The main task of icebreakers is to break a sufficiently wide channel in the ice to allow ice floe to flow freely down the river, thus preventing ice blockages and also protecting river infrastructure from damage.
The project is co-financed, at a rate of 85 per cent, by the Cohesion Fund under the Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme 2014-2020 (POIŚ), Priority II, “Environmental protection, including adaptation to climate change”, Measure 2.1 “Adaptation to climate change, including protection against and increasing resilience to natural disasters, in particular natural catastrophes, and environmental monitoring”.
The project budget amounts to PLN 74 million.