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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Bering Strait News

Russia's First Sea-borne Nuclear Power Plant Arrives in Arctic

Akademik Lomonosov (Photo: Rosatom)

Russia's first-floating nuclear power plant arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend in preparation for its maiden mission, providing electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska.The state company behind the plant, called the "Akademik Lomonosov", says it could pioneer a new power source for remote regions of the planet, but green campaigners have expressed concern about the risk of nuclear accidents. Greenpeace has called it the "nuclear Titanic".Russian state nuclear company Rosatom…

"Vladimir Rusanov" Completes First Eastern Transit

Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that the Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier "Vladimir Rusanov", which is jointly owned by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation, has successfully arrived at the Bering Strait. The vessel carried out a LNG loading operation in the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta port, before sailing for the Far East via the Northern Sea Route on 25 June. The vessel safely arrived at the Bering Strait on 6 July, and is planning to call Jiangsu Rudong port in China for an unloading operation of its LNG cargo.

Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier Vladimir Rusanov First Call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal

China COSCO Shipping, Executive Vice President, Sun Jiakang (first from left) PAO Novatek, Chairman of the Management Board Leonid Mikhelson (second from left) Director of the National Energy Administration of China, Nur Bekri (fourth from left) Minister of Energy of Russia, Alexander Novak (fourth from right) CNPC, Board Director, President, Zhang Jianhua (third from right) MOL, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Takeshi Hashimoto (first from right). Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that the Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier "Vladimir Rusanov", which is jointly owned by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited for the Yamal LNG project, made its first call at PetroChina LNG Jiangsu Terminal in China on 17 July.A ceremony celebrating this milestone was held on 19 July.At the end of March 2018, the vessel started transportation services for LNG produced by the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta port in Russia. For its latest voyage…

IMO Okays U.S.-Russian Bering Strait Routing Plan

Image: PACIFIC ENVIRONMENT

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.

Russia Ramping Up Arctic Push

A Russian icebreaker currently under construction at Arctech Helsink Shipyard (Photo: Eric Haun)

The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union's Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum. But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers. It is part of a push to firm Moscow's hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States, and Norway as well as newcomer China.

NOAA to Boost Arctic Nautical Charting

NOAA officers aboard one of the smaller survey vessels contemplate the vastness of the Chukchi Sea during the NOAA Ship Fairweather's reconnaissance survey in 2013. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA plans increased 2015 Arctic nautical charting operations, coordinating with U.S. As commercial shipping traffic increases in the Arctic, NOAA informs it is taking steps to update nautical charts in the region. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey will use data collected by two of its own ships, Rainier and Fairweather, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy and a private sector hydrographic contractor to cover nearly 12,000 nautical miles in the Arctic for use in updating its navigational charts.

US Navy Sets Course for the Arctic Circle

The view at sunset of Ice Camp Nautilus, located on a sheet of ice adrift on the Arctic Ocean, during Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2014. ICEX 2014 is a U.S. Navy exercise highlighting submarine capabilities in an arctic environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Joshua Davies)

Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) officially kicked off Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2016 in the Arctic Ocean with the construction of U.S. Navy Ice Camp SARGO March 2. ICEX 2016 is a five-week exercise designed to research, test and evaluate operational capabilities in the Arctic region. "ICEX allows us to assess our operational readiness in the Arctic, increase our experience in the region, develop partnerships and collaborative efforts, and advance our understanding of the Arctic environment," said Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo, commander, Submarine Forces.

New LNG Tanker Forges Path for Arctic Shipping

Photo: Sovcomflot

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…

Crystal to Cruise via Arctic Northwest Passage in 2016

Arctic waters: File photo

Crystal Cruises says it is introducing a new expedition-style voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean via the Northwest Passage (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle) that explorers spent centuries seeking, until it was first completed successfully by Roald Amundsen just over 100 years ago. Crystal claims to be the first luxury cruise line to ever navigate the route, maneuvering through 900 miles of majestic waterways lined with spectacular glaciers, towering fjords, and vast unspoiled landscapes away from mainstream civilization and tourism, north of mainland Canada.

Crystal Cruises to Sail Elusive Northwest Passage

Crystal Cruises' Northwest Passage

The “World’s Best” Crystal Cruises is introducing a new expedition-style  voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean via the legendary Northwest Passage – one so mysterious and remote (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle), that explorers spent centuries seeking the passage, until it was first completed successfully by Roald Amundsen just over 100 years ago. Crystal will be the first luxury cruise line to ever navigate the route, maneuvering through 900 miles of majestic waterways lined with spectacular glaciers…

This Day In Naval History: June 13

Sketch by LCDR. DeLong of Jeannette stuck and sinking in the ice in June 1881. US Navy image

1881 - The bark-rigged wooden steamship Jeannette sinks after she is crushed in an Arctic ice pack during the expedition to reach the North Pole through the Bering Strait. Only 13 of her crew survive out of 33. 1900 - During the Boxer Rebellion, the International Relief Expedition turns back near Anting, China, and moves to Sanstun after the Tientsin-Peking railroad is cut by the Boxers, whose anti-foreign mantra grew to burning homes and killing foreigners as well as Chinese Christians. In total, 56 Marines and Sailors receive the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Rebellion.

U.S. Navy Responds to Increased Arctic Activity

Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) is submerged after surfacing through two feet of drifting ice about 180 nautical miles off the north coast of Alaska. U.S. Navy photo by Shawn P. Eklund

The loss of seasonal sea ice in the Arctic will have ramifications for the U.S. Navy in terms of future missions, force structure, training and investments. To get a better handle on planning for future Arctic missions, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert asked me to provide an unambiguous assessment of how ice coverage will change in the Arctic and how human activity in the Arctic will change in response to decreased ice coverage and other factors. To understand this challenge, let me give you a little background.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His trimaran “Qingdao China" is docked in Jarfjord outside Kirkenes, Norway, as the last preparations for the Arctic voyage are handled. With support from local company Arctic Dive Resort, the expedition stays in Norwegian-Russian border area before it on Saturday heads towards Murmansk. Guo Chuan intends to make it non-stop through the Northern Sea Route quicker than any other before, barentsobserver.com reports.

Foss is Upbeat on the Arctic

Foss Arctic Class bow Profile

Foss Maritime Builds New Ice-Class Tugs as it embarks on a new Arctic Challenge. To support growing Arctic business, Seattle-based Foss Maritime Company is building three ocean-going tugs at its Rainier Shipyard in Oregon on the Columbia River. These 132 feet-long, Ice Class vessels will have strengthened hulls designed to withstand the harsh, Arctic climate conditions into which they will eventually be deployed. Work on the tugs began in July, and the first in the series will be delivered in December 2014.

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.

Cruise Ship Transits the Northeast Passage

Hanseatic in ice water (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises)

Expedition cruise ship Hanseatic has navigated the Northeast Passage for the second time, completing its journey through the Arctic Ocean sea route in the early hours of September 7, 2016. After sailing a total of 5,542 nautical miles, the ship will arrive in Nome on September 10 and officially end its cruise. In 2014, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic became the first non-Russian cruise ship to navigate the Northeast Passage, which runs along the north coasts of Asia and Europe, from the Bering Strait to the White Sea.

US, Russia Propose Bering Strait Shipping Routes

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

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…

U.S. Navy eyes greater presence in Arctic from 2025

The U.S. Navy is mapping out how to expand its presence in the Arctic beginning around 2020, given signs that the region's once permanent ice cover is melting faster than expected, which is likely to trigger more traffic, fishing and resource mining. "The Arctic is all about operating forward and being ready. We don't think we're going to have to do war-fighting up there, but we have to be ready," said Rear Admiral Jonathan White, the Navy's top oceanographer and navigator, and director of the Navy's climate change task force. "We don't want to have a demand for the Navy to operate up there, and have to say, 'Sorry, we can't go,'" he said.

Foss Maritime: Hard at Work in the Arctic

Glacier Wind in Cook Inlet (Image courtesy of Foss Maritime)

As the oil industry awaits a much-needed rebound, Foss Maritime’s robust presence in the Arctic region underscores its commitment to the region, the environment, and a business plan that looks ahead to the next chapter. Reports of the death of commercial Arctic activities have been greatly exaggerated. While Arctic energy projects have, by and large, been put on the back burner – like most things related to energy in other places – there are still many projects ongoing; and still others being planned.

Arctic Taskings for the Coast Guard

DNV GL

On January 30, 2014, the White House released the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The purpose of the Implementation Plan is to put flesh on the bones of the May 10, 2013 National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The National Strategy had identified three lines of effort to address challenges posed by the changing Arctic environment. The Implementation Plan sets forth the methodology, process, and approach for executing the Strategy. Most importantly…

US Navy Submarines Surface in the Arctic Circle

Photo: US Navy

A pair of U.S. Navy submarines recently surfaced in the Arctic Circle as part of multinational maritime exercise north of Alaska. Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) and Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, USS Connecticut (SSN 22) surfaced in the Arctic Circle March 10 during the multinational maritime Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018. Both submarines, as well the UK Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant (S91), are participating in the biennial exercise in the Arctic to train and validate the warfighting capabilities of submarines in extreme cold-water conditions.

Clean Arctic Hails IMO Action on HFO

Photo: HFO-Free Arctic

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…

US Unprepared for Arctic Oil Spill: New Report

Report cover courtesy of NRC

The work of a committee, the National Research Council has released a new report – 'Responding to Oil Spills in the U.S. Arctic Marine Environment', which concludes that the the U.S. is far from ready to respond effectively to such an event. U.S. Arctic waters north of the Bering Strait and west of the Canadian border encompass a vast area that is usually ice covered for much of the year, but is increasingly experiencing longer periods and larger areas of open water due to climate change.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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