Arctic Sea News

28 Oct 2019

Nike Takes Arctic Shipping Pledge

Image: Nike

Nike and Ocean Conservancy are encouraging businesses to avoid shipping routes via the Arctic Ocean, with the launch of an ‘Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge.'As climate change causes Arctic sea ice to diminish, cargo traffic through previously unnavigable ocean routes becomes increasingly feasible. Though these routes can offer decreased transit times, the possibility of increased vessel traffic across the Arctic poses great risk and potentially devastating environmental impacts for one of the world’s most fragile regions.“At Nike, we exist to serve athletes.

21 Oct 2019

CAA Welcomes MSC 's Shelving Arctic Routes

Dr Sian Prior. Photo: Clean Arctic Alliance

Clean Arctic Alliance has welcome MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company's decision to avoid Arctic shipping route as a new short cut between northern Europe and Asia.Clean Arctic Alliance lead advisor Dr Sian Prior was responding to the announcement that shipping company MSC “will not explore or use the Northern Sea Route between Europe and Asia for container shipping” and that it believes that shipping lines should focus on reducing the environmental impact of existing shipping…

07 Oct 2019

Sovcomflot Names New Arctic Shuttle Tanker

Mikhail Lazarev (Photo: Sovcomflot)

On October 6, 2019, a naming and flag raising ceremony was held in Vladivostok for Sovcomflot’s latest Arctic shuttle tanker. The vessel was named after Mikhail Lazarev, a prominent Russian admiral and explorer known for his discovery of Antarctica. The tanker was ordered by Sovcomflot to transport crude oil for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement between Sovcomflot and Gazprom Neft.The ceremony was attended by Oleg Melnikov, Vice-Governor of Primorsky Region and Sergey Frank…

26 Sep 2019

IPCC SROCC Reports Call for HFO Ban

Image: Clean Arctic Alliance

The Clean Arctic Alliance and the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada call for urgent action to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) use and carriage by Arctic shipping to reduce risks of a devastating spill, and to reduce black carbon emissions in the Arctic, responding to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).SROCC’s Summary for Policymakers states that “Arctic ship-based transportation and tourism have implications for global trade…

03 Sep 2019

Residential Yacht Receives MIKO Polar Kits

Illustration demonstrates the Polar Kit application technique for a Miko Plaster. Image: MIKO

Preparations for the largest privately-owned residential yacht, The World, to sail the Northwest Passage across Canada from Nuuk, Greenland to Nome, Alaska this summer have included the purchase of a Miko Plasters Polar Kit as defence against the risk of being holed by ice.A team from Oslo-based Miko Marine AS flew to Reykjavik, Iceland in early August where they demonstrated the techniques developed for applying a magnetic patch to seal any hole caused by accidental contact with hard ice as might occur in open water or drift ice.

29 Aug 2019

Revenues Soar at Russia’s PAO Sovcomflot

Sergey Frank, President and CEO, PAO Sovcomflot. Photo: Sovcomflot.

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), which serves the energy shipping and offshore services to the oil and gas industries, reported in the first half of 2019 revenues rose 16.6% ($828m vs. $710.1m), TCE revenue rose 19.1% ($609m vs. $511.3m) and EBITDA rose 42.4% ($381.2m vs. $267.7m) as compared to the first half of 2018.Highlights from the first half included:• Korolev Prospect, Vernadsky Prospect and Samuel Prospect LNG-fuelled 114,000 DWT Aframax tankers added to the fleet.•In March 2019, the Group celebrated the 10th anniversary of the start of LNG shipments from the Sakhalin-2 project.

16 Aug 2019

July: Earth's Hottest Month Ever Recorded

© Alexander/Adobe Stock

According to the latest monthly climate report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet and Polar sea ice melted to record lows.Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees…

11 Jul 2019

SCF Celebrates the Day of Russian Sea

Photo: SCF Press Service

Russian maritime shipping company specializing in petroleum and LNG shipping, PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) held a traditional meeting of the company’s management with masters of Sovcomflot vessels on the eve of Russia’s Day of Marine and River Fleet Workers, celebrated on the first Sunday of July.The state-owned corporation said in a press note that in the lead-up to this day, Russian Ministry of Transport has awarded 43 masters and 48 chief engineers of Sovcomflot vessels its Badge for Accident-Free Work in Maritime Transportation.During the meeting, Sergey Frank, President & CEO of Sovcomflot,

05 Jul 2019

Arctic Sea Route Opens for Year's First LNG Cargo

AdobeStcok / © Cascoly2

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker carrying a cargo from the Yamal LNG plant has spent this week making its way through Arctic waters north of Russia towards Asia, marking the first voyage of the 2019 summer season across the Northern Sea Route.The Vladimir Rusanov, an Arc7-classed LNG tanker that can plough through semi-cleared waters, left the Sabetta port on June 29 and is in the Chukchi Sea close to the Bering Strait, Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed on Friday.The route…

11 Jun 2019

Gazprom, Sovcomflot Pact on LNG Bunkering

Image: Sovcomflot

Russian shipping company Sovcomflot and compatriot oil producer Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker have signed an agreement to cooperate on projects for bunkering ships with LNG fuel.The agreement was signed by Igor Tonkovidov, Executive Vice President and CTO/COO of Sovcomflot, and Andrey Vasiliev, CEO of Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker.Sovcomflot said that the agreement reinforces the mutual interest of both parties regarding their cooperation in the bunkering of Sovcomflot’s tankers with LNG fuel.Compared to conventional marine fuels…

09 Jun 2019

DP World Eyes Arctic Sea Route

Pic: DP World

Dubai-based ports operator DP World hopes to run ports that Russia plans to build along an Arctic sea route intended to shorten shipping times between east and west.The quadrilateral agreement of intent with Russian Direct Investment Fund, an investment fund of the Russian Federation, Rosatom, the infrastructure operator of the NSR and Norilsk Nickel, a world leader in the production of palladium and high-quality nickel, was signed, reported Reuters.The signed deal between the Emirati company and the Russian firms is not legally binding…

28 May 2019

Russia Launches Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker

Pic: Rosatom

Russia's nuclear energy agency, Rosatom launched the nuclear-powered ice breaker Ural at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg."With the ceremonial launch of Ural, Russia’s nuclear energy giant, Rosatom, has completed another step towards ensuring all-year round navigability of the Northern Sea Route (NSR)," said a press release.The 173 metre-long ‘Ural’ is equipped with two highly efficient and compact RITM-200 nuclear reactors on board, capable of generating up to 350MW combined…

09 May 2019

Finland-Norway Rail Link for Arctic Sea Route

A Finnish company said on Thursday it planned to develop a railway connection between north Finland and Norway's Kirkenes port to link with potential Arctic shipping routes at an estimated cost of between 3-5 billion euros ($3.4-5.6 billion).Global warming has reduced ice coverage in the Arctic, opening up the possibility of new and shorter shipping lanes between north Europe and Asia, though control of routes is disputed.Finland's Finest Bay Area Development said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Norway's Sør-Varanger Utvikling to investigate how to build a railway and its impact on the environment, society and the economy."An Arctic railway would connect Finland to the Northeast Passage," Kustaa Valtonen, a director at Finest Bay Area Development, said in a statement.

07 Dec 2018

Union of Greek Shipowners Joins Arctic Economic Council

Pic: Union of Greek Shipowners

The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) announced its acceptance as member to the Arctic Economic Council (AEC), the independent organization acting as the primary forum for interaction between the Arctic Council and the wider circumpolar and non-Arctic business communities.“Greek shipowners, who are hands-on operators and control 20% of the total world tonnage in deadweight and about 50% of the total European Union fleet, are primarily involved in cross trading activities carrying…

26 Nov 2018

Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice Raises Security Concerns

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent makes an approach to the Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Arctic Ocean, Sept. 5. The two ships are taking part in a multi-year, multi-agency Arctic survey that will help define the North American continental shelf. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley)

Shrinking ice cover is making the Arctic more accessible to various countries, commercial entities and researchers, among others."While Arctic sea ice continues to shrink, human activity in the region is only growing. Ice extent, which is monitored by the U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC), often determines what types of activities are pursued in the region," says NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).This increased human activity in the Arctic has also led to more national security concerns from both a traditional and non-traditional point of view.

12 Oct 2018

Arctic Sea Ice is Youngest and Thinnest Now

Small remnants of thicker, multiyear ice float with thinner, seasonal ice in the Beaufort Sea on Sept. 30, 2016. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Alek Petty

The Arctic Ocean's blanket of sea ice has changed since 1958 from predominantly older, thicker ice to mostly younger, thinner ice, according to new research published by NASA scientist Ron Kwok of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.With so little thick, old ice left, the rate of decrease in ice thickness has slowed. New ice grows faster but is more vulnerable to weather and wind, so ice thickness is now more variable, rather than dominated by the effect of global warming…

05 Oct 2018

New Thruster Solutions Developed for Arctic Shipping

© Alexey Nagaev / Adobe Stock

A team of European marine research institutes and companies have developed creative technologies for thruster solutions that are specifically engineered for ships operating in the Arctic.With the new solutions created under the three-year ArTEco project led by Finland's VTT and Wärtsilä, thruster lifetimes can be increased, their maintenance need can be decreased and their reliability improved, particularly in extreme conditions, the project partners said.While at sea, a ship must overcome tough resistance as it displaces water masses from its path.

24 Aug 2018

Maersk Sends First Containership through the Arctic

The Venta Maersk loads containers in Vladivostok, Russia ahead of its Arctic voyage (© Sergei Skriabin / MarineTraffic.com)

A Maersk vessel loaded with Russian fish and South Korean electronics will next week become the first containership to navigate an Arctic sea route that Russia hopes will become a new shipping highway.The Arctic voyage by the 3,600 20-foot container capacity Venta Maersk is the latest step in the expansion of the so-called Northern Sea Route which is becoming more accessible to ships as climate change reduces the amount of sea ice.The brand new Venta Maersk, one of the world's largest ice-class vessels…

07 May 2018

Study Calls to Reduce Ship Speed for Arctic

Sea ice along the east coast of Banks Island in the western Canadian Arctic. Photo credit: UVic researcher William Halliday, a co-author of the new study led by UVic marine biologist Lauren McWhinnie.

In the Arctic, marine mammals such as belugas and bowhead whales rely on a quiet environment to communicate and forage. But as Arctic sea ice shrinks and shipping traffic increases, vessel disturbance could very likely impact their social behaviours, distribution and long-term survival, warns a new study led by University of Victoria marine biologist Lauren McWhinnie. Published in the peer-reviewed journal Ocean and Coastal Management, the study calls for precautionary measures…

23 Mar 2018

Near Record Low Arctic Ocean Ice a Boost for Shipping

© Misiurin Viacheslav / Adobe Stock

Winter sea ice on the Arctic Ocean covered the second smallest area on record this year, part of a thaw that is opening the region to shipping and oil exploration and may be disrupting weather far to the south, scientists said on Friday. The extent of floating ice likely reached an annual maximum of 14.5 million square kilometers (5.6 million square miles) on March 17, fractionally bigger than a record set in 2017, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said. Sea ice around the North Pole freezes to its biggest at the end of the winter in March…

15 Mar 2018

AWI to Track Carbon Particles in the Arctic

The wind has opened a lead between ice floes. As the white streaks reveal, the water surface is freezing again immediately. The streaks occur when the wind drifts loose ice crystals. Photo IceCamStefan Hendricks, Alfred-Weg

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team of researchers will spend the next four weeks studying how the Arctic is changing. In the course of the PAMARCMiP campaign they will measure the sea ice and the atmosphere between Greenland and Svalbard – on the ground, using a tethered balloon, and from the air. Their primary target: carbon particles. Historically, Greenland isn’t exactly considered to be prone to wildfires.

22 Dec 2017

Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier for Yamal LNG Project Named Vladimir Rusanov

Left: Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier Vladimir Rusanov, Right: Yamal LNG Project Trading Routes. Photo: MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that on December 21, a naming ceremony for an ice-breaking LNG carrier, which was jointly ordered by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (China COSCO Shipping), was held at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering  (DSME). As a crowd of VIPs and personnel related to the project looked on, the newbuilding vessel was named the "Vladimir Rusanov" by Ms. Veronika Makeeva of PAO Novatek, the major shareholder of the Yamal LNG project. The name is derived from Russian Arctic explorer and geologist.

16 Aug 2017

HMM to Launch Arctic Sea Service

File Photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

South Korea’s leading container carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine Co (HMM) is considering launching a regular liner service via the Arctic Sea, a move that could cut transits between Asia and Europe considerably, reported Pulse. South Korea’s largest ocean carrier is considering a trial operation from as early as 2020. A number of local logistics companies have ventured into the Arctic routes, but did not last due to lack of ships and crew expertise to navigate against the ice-packed waters.

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