One of the X-BOW vessels designed by ULSTEIN, the seismic vessel ‘Polarcus Alima’, recently transited to Asia-Pacific via the Northern Sea Route (NSR).
This is the first known passage of a 3D seismic vessel along the Northern Sea Route. Her passage commenced on September 15 from Hammerfest in Norway after completion of seismic operations in the Barents Sea. After only nine days and 3,000 nautical miles the vessel reached Cape Dezhnev in the Bering Straits. She is presently continuing her onward passage to New Zealand to commence operations there.
Polarcus Alima is an ultra-modern 12-streamer 3D seismic vessel of the SX134 design. Vessels making the passage are required to hold an ICE-1A or higher ice class.
The expected time savings in transit between Norway and New Zealand compared to the traditional route through the Panama Canal amounts to some eight days. The savings versus the Suez Canal, a necessity for some larger seismic vessels, amounts to thirteen days.
Preparations for the voyage were carried out in close cooperation with Tschudi Arctic Transit AS through its Russian - Norwegian JV company Arctic Bulk AG, Atomflot, and the Northern Sea Route Administration in Moscow.
Commenting on the successful transit Rolf Rønningen, CEO Polarcus, said: “The successful navigation of Polarcus Alima along the Northern Sea Route leads to significant savings in fuel, emissions, and time in transit. This provides Polarcus a viable new sea bridge between two important operational markets.”
Polarcus Alima became X-BOW vessel number 20 on her delivery from Drydocks World Dubai at 21 March 2011.