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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Northern Sea News

Northern Sea Route Record Transit by Gazprom Tankship

SCF Amur in Northern Sea Route Convoy: Photo credit Gazprom

The Russian Gazprom tankship 'SCF Amur' recently transited the Northern Sea Route in a record 7-days. In January 2012 Gazprom and Sovcomflot reached an agreement on arranging a test shipment via the Northern Sea Route to deliver the Gazprom hydrocarbons to the Asia-Pacific market, taking into account the growing urgency for energy resources supplies to the region. The recemt passage of the SCF Amur became the fourth transit passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic for Sovcomflot.

Northern Sea Route Clicks Up Record Transits

Photo credit Rotatomflot

46 vessels have transited through Northern Sea Route as this year's navigation season comes to an end. Never before have so many vessels used the Northern Sea Route for cargo transport between Europe and Asia. and never before has so much cargo been transported along the route, reports the 'Barents Observer'. Although the season is not yet completely over – there are still two Finnish icebreakers in westbound transit from Alaska to Denmark –  there has been a tenfold increase in the number of vessels using the Northern Sea Route during the last two years.

Northern Sea Route 2013 Queue Longest Yet

Convoy, NSR: Photo credit: Rosatomflot

The Northern Sea Route administration has so far given 54 vessels permission to sail the route in 2013. This year’s sailing season on the Northern Sea Route between Europe and Russia will probably be the busiest one ever. The first vessels to take the Arctic shortcut this summer will leave Murmansk at the end of June. The Northern Sea Route Administration has so far received 89 applications to use the Northern Sea Route (NSR). 54 vessels have so far been given permission to sail along the route, reports the Barents Observer, citing the administration's (Russian language) web-site.

Northern Sea Freight Traffic Volumes Surge

Northern Sea Route Photo Arctic Info

In 2015, the volume of freight traffic along the Northern Sea Route has increased by 1.2 million tons and amounted to 5.1 million tonnes. This was at a meeting of the International Forum "The Arctic: Present and Future" in St. Petersburg deputy head FGKU "Administration of the Northern Sea Route" Nikolai Monki. "Ships of this year went through the Northern Sea Route for a few dozen more than in 2014, among them are Chinese court plans to operate on a permanent basis", - quotes the words of Monki Tass. He added that the anti-Russian sanctions have not affected the cargo.

Russian Bulker Transits NSR Arrives Tianjin, China

Inzhener Trubin: Photo Wiki CCL

The bulk carrier 'Inzhener Trubin' which is part of a pilot Northern Sea Route (NSR) trade expedition on the Tyumen-Sabetta-China route, has arrived after a 9-day voyage. After discharging cargo will load Chinese goods for the return voyage to Russia, reports Arica-Info. Since departing Sabetta InzhenerTrubin has been at sea for 32 days, and the vessel has covered over 11,000 kilometers. In the Kara Sea the bulk carrier was joined a convoy of ships escorted by nuclear icebreaker Vaygach. In the East Siberian Sea the vessel was led by icebreaker Taymyr.

NSR Traffic May Increase 8-Fold by 2020

The Deputy Head of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Viktor Olersky, accompanied by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Koji Sekimizu, on an inspection visit at the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route, told RiaNovosti that traffic on the Northern Sea Route may increase more than 8 times by 2020, reaching 30 million tonnes a year. Citing Olersky, Ria Novosti report that today there is active development of the shelves of the Barents and Kara Seas with dozens of oil platforms each supplied by two or three vessels. The port of Sabetta under construction, according to preliminary estimates of the deputy head of the ministry, will take 220 ship calls each year.

Northern Sea Route – Maritime Rescue Centers Planned

Northwest Passage: Photo credit Wiki CCL Rodbauer

The first, in Dudinka, will become operational in time for this year's Northern Sea Route navigable season, according to a report on Russia's 'Arcticuniverse' online publication. Russia is investing in the future of the northern Sea Route and is to spend nearly €23.4 million in development of ten centers from Murmansk in the West to Chukotka in the East. Three of the centers will be located on Chukotka and Anadyr, the other seven in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Naryan-Mar, Vorkuta, Nadym, Dudinka and Tiksi. A total of 980 persons will be working at the centers.

New Icebreaker Could Keep Northern Sea Route Open

Icebreaker LK-60: Image credit Rosatomflot

Russia's Baltic Shipyard starts construction of the first LK-60 nuclear-powered icebreaker. The LK-60 will be the largest and most powerful icebreaker ever built, making commercial traffic along the Northern Sea Route possible all year around. According to Barents Observer, Russia will have a large demand for new nuclear-powered icebreakers in the near future. Of the existing six vessels that are operating in Arctic waters today only one will be operational by 2020. The three new icebreakers will cost Russia a total of 51,8 billion rubles (app €1,3 billion).

Northern Sea Route Transit Record Likely to be Broken

After a slow start this summer mariime transport along the northern Sea Route has gained speed the last couple of weeks. In course of the two first months of this years’ sailing period only nine vessels had used the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for transportation of cargo between Europe and Asia, as reported in 'BarentsObserver'. During the last two weeks, things have really gained speed, and the number of vessels sailing the NSR has now reached a total of 22 – 13 from the west to the east and nine in the opposite direction. A total of 749.706 tons of different cargo has been transported – approaching last year’s record of 820.789 tons, a press release from the operator of Russia’s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers Rosatomflot reads. The sailing season will probably last another two months.

ABS Advises on Northern Sea Route Navigation

Photo: Robby Norman

ABS, a provider of global maritime classification services, today released its Navigating the Northern Sea Route Advisory to support shipowners and operators intending to transit the increasingly popular commercial shipping routes through the Arctic seas. The comprehensive advisory, which was developed with assistance from Russia's Central Marine Research and Design Institute, provides owners with the information they need to apply for permits and to identify the possible technical…

Arctic Shipping Routes: P&I Insurance FAQs

Arctic navigation: File photo

The UK P&I Club has compiled an FAQ which focuses on the implications for P&I insurance of choosing to use the Northern Sea Route. The Northern Sea Route (NSR), or North East Passage, runs along the Russian coast from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi Seas, having the potential to significantly shorten voyage times between European and Far Eastern ports. The exact routing is variable and depends on the time of the year, ice conditions, and the size and draft of the ship in question.

Russia to Set Up Northern Sea Route Naval Infrastructure

Photo credit: Wikimedia CCL

Russia will create several hubs along the Northern Sea Route to enforce security in the region. The Northern Sea Route stretches along Russia’s Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea to the Bering Strait in the Far East. Russia will create several infrastructure hubs along the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic to be used as temporary stations for Russian warships and border guard vessels, according to Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev. The authorities have drafted…

Polarcus Alima travels the Northern Sea Route

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.

Russian Presidential Decree Establishes NSR Administration

Tankship on NSR: Photo courtesy of Gazprom

From an office in downtown Moscow, 15 people will regulate traffic along Russia’s Northern Sea Route. A decree signed this week by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev marks the formal establishment of the new Northern Sea Route administration. The office, situated far from the route, is to be part of the federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, reports the Barents Observer. By mid-May, the new structure is to be fully operational. The establishment of the office comes as shipping along the Russian Arctic route is increasing quickly.

Rosneft to Monitor Marine Fauna in Northern Sea Route

The Northern Sea Route

OAO NK Rosneft will conduct marine fauna monitoring in the Northern Sea Route in 2014. The studies will be organized by the Arctic Research Center, a joint venture of Rosneft and ExxonMobil. The objective of the said studies is collection of data on marine fauna in Rosneft License Areas with a view to building a complete and detailed picture of the baseline environment state and developing a set of environmental controls to be applied during hydrocarbons exploration and production. The studies will cover animals, birds and mammals of northern seas.

Northern Sea Route Hydrographic Survey Planned

Updated charts of the Northern Sea Route without the 'white spots' will be created in 2015-2016, in addition, the Ministry of Transport is planning to organize this year's transfer of jurisdiction from the Ministry of Defence to FSUE 'Hydrographic Enterprise' or in its own subordinate structure, said the deputy director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport of Russia, Vitaly Klyuev. "We will increase the hydrographic work in the Arctic to the year 2015-2016 to get a real picture of the depths for safe navigation,"  he said at a news conference in RIA Novosti, devoted to the preparation of the Russian exposition at the World exhibition "Expo-2012" to be held from May to August in South Korea.

Russia Starts Arctic NSR Surveillance Flights

Russia to patrol the Arctic on a regular basis, overflying international waters above the Arctic Ocean & along the Northern Sea Route. Russia will now be patrolling the Arctic on a regular basis. The aircraft take off from Northern Fleet airbases in the Murmansk and Vologda regions, reports the Barents Observer. The Russian Navy patrol aircraft monitor the pack-ice near the Northern Sea Route to assist navigation for civilian ships in Arctic regions, and the flights are conducted according to international regulations and without infringing the borders of other nations, according to a Northern Fleet spokesman, as reported by Ria Novosti. Sources: Barents Observer, Ria Novosti  

Russia Shows the Flag on NSR

Cruiser Pyotr Veliky: Photo credit Wiki CCL

A naval task force from Russia’s Northern Fleet is heading to the eastern Arctic, taking the Northern Sea Route (NSR) reports Ria Novosti, citing a spokesperson for the fleet. Led by the heavy nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, the task force, which includes the large amphibious assault ships Olenegorsky Gornyak and Kondopoga and a variety of support vessels, has left its Severomorsk base and has entered the Barents Sea. The warships will take the Northern Sea Route to the Novossibirsk Islands and carry out a number training missions…

Northern Sea Route Carrier to be Privatised

Photo courtesy of MSCO

The Russian state-owned stake in Murmansk Shipping Company (MSCO) will be privatised by the end of 2013. MSCO assets are composed of fleets of three shipping companies: Murmansk Shipping Company (Murmansk), Northern Sea Shipping Company (Arkhangelsk) and Northern River Shipping Company (Arkhangelsk). The company handles up to 80% of all cargo transported via the Northern Sea Route, reports Barents Nova. Privatisation of a state-owned 25.5% stake will be completed by the end of 2013 reports Barents Nova citing a recent meeting of the Transport Ministry.

100 Oil Decomposing Microorganisms Identified

MSU microbiologists identify 100 oil decomposing microorganisms

Under a contract with Rosneft to create a microbial medication for northern seas signed in 2014, scientists of Moscow State University’s biological faculty have identified about 100 microorganisms able to decompose oil and petroleum products at low temperatures including below zero ones. Over one year, more than 250 samples of water have been tested in Russia’s major northern ports, as well as by the shoreline of northern cities like Murmansk, Vladivostok, Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky, etc.

Commissioner Doyle Speaks at CSIS Arctic Maritime Awareness Seminar

From left to right: Antti Vehviläinen, Director General, Finnish Transport Agency; USGC Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger; Heather A. Conley, Director and Senior Fellow , CSIS Europe Program; Merja Kyllönen, Minister of Transport, Finland; William P. Doyle, Federal Maritime Commissioner; Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Embass of Finland; and Mikhail A. Kalugin, Head of the Economic Section, Embassy of the Russian Federation.

Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Doyle addressed attendees of the Center For Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Arctic Maritime Awareness seminar on September 27, 2013. The seminar, held at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC, was attended by representatives with Arctic interests and featured the Finnish Ambassador to the United States, the Finnish Minister of Transport, the General Director of the Finnish Transport Agency, the head of the Economic Section for the Russian Embassy and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Operations.

Trailblazing Through Ice: Russia Optimistic About 'Short Cut' Sea Route

Russia expressed optimism about plans for a short-cut Arctic sea route between Europe and the Pacific Ocean despite skepticism from the Russian military and some foreign shipowners. "Of course there are problems...but we look at the future of the Northern Sea Route with optimism," Russian Transport Minister Sergei Frank said. The seaway is almost 40 percent, or up or 4,000 miles (6,400 km), shorter than conventional routes via the Suez or Panama canals between Europe and Japan. The end of the Cold War has revived mariners' dreams of creating a commercial passage through the ice. Frank said Russia is studying the building of a new generation of nuclear ice-breakers…

MOL China Shipping J/V Orders NSR LNG Carriers

LNG Carrier: Rendering MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) says its joint venture with China Shipping (Group) Company has signed shipbuilding contracts with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea to build three ice class LNG carriers for the [Russian] Yamal LNG project. The ice class LNG carriers for the project will have independent ice-breaking capabilities that enable them to sail in icy seas with maximum 2.1m ice thickness. The vessels will be capable of transporting LNG from Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta in Yamal Peninsula, Russia, to main LNG markets in the world.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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