LNG Carrier Completes Record Arctic Transit
An icebreaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier has completed a record journey through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in the Arctic.The Christophe de Margerie owned and operated by Sovcomflot (SCF Group) covered the distance of 2,360 nautical miles eastward through the NSR, from the port of Sabetta (Yamal Peninsula) to Cape Dezhnev (the Bering Strait), in seven days and 17 hours, a new record time for a merchant ship without icebreaker support during the month of July. Throughout the record-setting passage…
IMO Okays U.S.-Russian Bering Strait Routing Plan
The International Maritime Organization approved the Bering Strait and Bering Sea ship routing measures proposed by the United States and Russian Federation. Taking effect Dec. 1, 2018, the six two-way routes and six precautionary areas are the first internationally recognized ship routing measures the IMO has approved for polar waters. In November 2017, the U.S. and Russia proposed a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea in response to increased shipping traffic there.
Hurtigruten Signs on to Ban HFO in the Arctic
Expedition cruise ship operator Hurtigruten has joined international environmental organizations in efforts aiming to spearhead the protection of Arctic communities and ecosystems from risks posed by the use of marine heavy fuel oil (HFO) to power ships. At the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam signed the Arctic Commitment along with Dr. Sian Prior of the Clean Arctic Alliance, lead advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, an international coalition of environmental organizations campaigning for a ban on heavy fuel oil use in the Arctic.
Finland Has an Icebreaker Emoji
A true leader in terms of Arctic shipping, Finland produces two-thirds of the world’s icebreaking ships. Now the country is honoring its Arctic shipbuilding prowess in emoji form. In addition to the icebreaker, other Finnish emojis in the set include a Nokia phone, the Aurora Borealis, a rocking “headbanger”, a sauna scene and “woolly socks”. Check them out here.
NGOs Call Upon EU to Effectively Regulate Shipping Pollution
From dangerous emissions in ports to hazardous scrapping on South Asian beaches, European shipping companies pollute and put people’s health and lives at serious risk. In light of the ongoing European Shipping Week and the failure of the International Maritime Organisation to find solutions, environmental experts are ringing the alarm bell and calling upon European policy makers to urgently adopt policies that effectively target the environmental performance of shipping. “Every year approximately 50,000 people in the EU die prematurely because of air pollution from ships.
First Icebreaking LNG Carrier Ready for Service
The world’s first icebreaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, Christophe de Margerie, has berthed at the gas terminal at Sabetta Port in Russia, becoming the first vessel to do so. Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (DSME) in South Korea, the tanker was designed to order for SCF Group, specifically to serve Russia’s Yamal LNG project, and transport LNG year round in the difficult ice conditions of the Ob Bay and Kara Sea. On March 30 the vessel’s master…
New LNG Tanker Forges Path for Arctic Shipping
An ice-breaking tanker docked for the first time at Russia's Arctic port of Sabetta to test a new route that could open the ice-bound Arctic Ocean to ships carrying oil and liquefied gas. The route is eagerly anticipated by energy firms that want to develop resources in the Arctic but face obstacles in getting oil and gas from remote and freezing fields to world markets. Environmental activists fear commercial shipping in the Arctic -- now possible because climate change has thinned…
ASCO's New Service to Arctic Ocean
The Russian Arctic Shipping Company (ASCO) operates between the port of Antwerp and the Arctic region of Russia. Its ice-reinforced vessels with a capacity of 7,000 to 12,000 tonnes will mainly carry project cargo. The company operates six vessels, enabling it to offer a monthly rotation. From Antwerp the ships travel via the Baltic (calling at among others St. Petersburg and Ust Luga) and then on the more northerly Russian ports such as Archangel, Sabetta, Murmansk and Nova Zembla. The agent for this service is Seabow, specialising in breakbulk and ro/ro with the emphasis on Russia.
LNG Platform Supports HFO Ban in Arctic
German Maritime LNG Platform signed the Arctic Commitment, joining a diverse group of international companies, organisations, politicians and polar explorers calling for a ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO) use in Arctic shipping. "The Clean Arctic Alliance welcomes the German Maritime LNG Platform as a signatory of the Arctic Commitment. The LNG Platform joins a growing international movement calling for a ban on the use of HFO by ships in the Arctic’s pristine and fragile environment”…
Ban Heavy Fuel Oil in the Arctic: WWF-Canada
International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to take steps that could lead to a phase-out of the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic shipping following an appeal from the Government of Canada, Indigenous participants and testimony from WWF-Canada. During a week-long meeting at IMO headquarters in London, WWF highlighted recent reports outlining major gaps in spill response capacity in the Arctic. The Canadian delegation’s submission on how to reduce the impacts of HFO in the Arctic received wide support from all Arctic states (United States…
Iridium Plans to Start GMDSS Service in 2020
Iridium Communications Inc. announced that two key milestones along the path to becoming the second recognized provider of Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) services have been reached. During its 98th session this past June, the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted new performance standards for GMDSS equipment and approved amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Treaty, which pave the way for Iridium to become a recognized GMDSS service provider. Now, the key remaining step in the approval process is an IMO resolution recognizing Iridium as a certified GMDSS mobile satellite service provider. Iridium expects this will be completed during calendar year 2018, with Iridium GMDSS service to begin in 2020.
Arctic Thaw helps Russian Shipping
Arctic thaw aids shipping most along Russian coast; Russia to start LNG exports from Yamal in late 2017. Russian shipping in the Arctic is benefiting from winds that are driving the oldest and thickest sea ice towards North America, further opening a remote region that is thawing amid global warming, scientists say. The thinning Russian ice could help liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, due to start exports from Russia's Yamal Peninsula in late 2017, to navigate an icy route east to Asia for more than a planned six months of the year, they said.
EU Project Aims to Improve Arctic Shipping Safety
A three-year, €6.5 million ($7.7 million) research project has been launched to address safety and efficiency in Arctic ship operations. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, SEDNA sets out to develop a risk-based approach to Arctic navigation, ship design and maritime operations. Recent years have seen a rapid increase in shipping operations in Arctic regions, as ice cover has reduced due to global warming. While this offers the potential to save significantly on voyage times…
Designer-built Adventure Cruise
The 2016 Polar Code has its first luxury-adventure cruise adherents for the long, new ice-free seasons in the high latitudes. Likewise, many designs winning over owners and explorers target exotic Asia-Pacific destinations. Competition is fierce among “designer-shipyards” seeking to build their designs, but their creations could face fewer hurdles to construction than the designs of independents without a yard. Concepts bound for the slipway have something else in common: new davits for large numbers of water craft.
Canada Unveils New Arctic Shipping Safety Regulations
Canada's Arctic is a vast and diverse region that is an integral part of this country. Marine transportation in the Arctic connects Canada to other countries and provides an essential lifeline for northern communities. To uphold the Government of Canada's high standards for marine shipping in the north, Transport Canada has introduced new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations. The regulations incorporate the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) into Canada's domestic legislation.
US, Russia Propose Bering Strait Shipping Routes
In response to increased Arctic shipping traffic, the United States and Russian Federation have proposed a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea. The nations jointly developed and submitted the proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish six two-way routes and six precautionary areas. Located in U.S. and Russian Federation territorial waters off the coasts of Alaska and the Chukotskiy Peninsula, the routes are being recommended to help ships avoid the numerous shoals…
China Reveals “Polar Silk Road” in Arctic
China unveiled its ambitions to develop a "Polar Silk Road" through the Arctic, joining a multinational race to exploit opportunities in the resource-rich region, as the shipping lanes opened up by global warming. China said it would encourage enterprises to build infrastructure and conduct commercial trial voyages, paving the way for Arctic shipping routes, in its first official Arctic policy white paper. "China hopes to work with all parties to build a 'Polar Silk Road' through developing the Arctic shipping routes," the paper, issued by the State Council Information Office, said.
Viking Life-Saving Equipment is ‘Polar Code Ready’
It’s been a full year since the International Maritime Organization (IMO) launched the Polar Code to enhance the protection of seafarers and the environment in Arctic and Antarctic regions. As ship owners and operators now work to ensure compliance, Viking Life-Saving Equipment says it stands ready to throw them a lifeline. The global provider offers a complete range of safety solutions for passenger and cargo vessels operating under the Polar Code. “Like the Poles themselves, Polar safety is uncharted territory to many operators.
Arctic Indigenous Leaders Meet IMO Secretary-General
The safety and environmental impact of arctic shipping was on the agenda as International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim received a delegation of arctic indigenous leaders at IMO Headquarters, London (25 October). In the first meeting of its kind, a wide-range of issues surrounding climate change and the subsequent increase in number of ships operating in arctic waters were discussed. Secretary-General Lim outlined IMO’s work in this field, in the form of IMO’s Polar Code, which will enter into force in January 2017.
IMO Moves toward Phase out of HFO in the Arctic
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC70) meeting brought progress by member countries toward a phase out of the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by vessels operating in the Arctic. Heavy fuel oil (HFO) breaks down extremely slowly in cold Arctic waters and is very difficult clean up in the event of a spill. While HFO powers some 44 percent of the ships currently operating in the Arctic, it accounts for more than 75 percent of the fuel onboard those ships, according to ICCT figures.
Clean Arctic Alliance Response to Arctic HFO Ban
“The Clean Arctic Alliance welcomes AECO’s reconfirmation of its support for an international ban on heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters. AECO’s decision demonstrates the growing conviction within the shipping industry that the Arctic is simply too vulnerable and too fragile to allow the use of this dirtiest of fuels, and that HFO can no longer be considered an option for powering Arctic shipping in the future”. “By acknowledging the threats posed by spills and black carbon emissions from heavy fuel oil…
Clean Arctic Hails IMO Action on HFO
The Clean Arctic Alliance has applauded progress by International Maritime Organization member states towards banning use of the world’s dirtiest fuel – heavy fuel oil – from Arctic shipping. It also called for Member States to make every effort to adopt and rapidly implement a ban by 2021, as proposed by eight IMO Member States and supported by other countries during the meeting. Plans to develop a ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping, along with an assessment of the impact of such a ban…
Clean Arctic Alliance Praises Move to Phase out HFO Use
Responding to the December 20th joint statement from the United States and Canada, regarding development of a strategy to phase out their use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) from vessels operating in the Arctic, the Clean Arctic Alliance praised both Arctic nations for their ambitious action to rid the region of the dirtiest marine fuel. “The Clean Arctic Alliance applauds the commitment of President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau to develop a concrete proposal to phase down HFO use in the Arctic”, said Clean Arctic Alliance advisor Dr Sian Prior.