The January Voyage of Тwo LNG Carriers in the Eastern Arctic Is a Step Towards Year-Round Safe NSR Navigation

MOSCOW, 22.01.2021. “Rosmorrechflot”

The ice-class LNG carrier ‘Christophe de Margerie’ reached the Dezhnev Cape abeam on January 16, completing the crossing along the Northern Sea Route in an easterly direction. For the first time, the transportation of LNG from the port of Sabetta on Yamal Peninsula to the Asia-Pacific region via the NSR was accomplished in January.

Another LNG carrier sistership performed a similar NSR transit one day later. She used the data provided by ‘Christophe de Margerie’ and the channel she laid in the ice fields. This made it possible to work out the tactics of interaction between two Arctic ice-class gas carriers during independent navigation in heavy ice environment.

The results of the 10-day passage of gas carriers along the route Sabetta – Bering Strait became another step bringing closer the possibility of organizing year-round safe navigation along the entire length of the NSR in the Russian Arctic. In turn, this will contribute to an increase in cargo traffic in the water area of ​​the Northern Sea Route and the progress of its transit potential as a real alternative to traditional transport routes via the Suez Channel.

On January 18, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev received a video call from Sergei Genya, the master of the gas carrier, who reported the successful completion of the crossing to Pacific The event was also attended by Sergei Frank, “Sovcomflot” Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Igor Tonkovidov, “Sovcomflot” CEO and Chairman of the Management Board.

The head of the Ministry of Transport congratulated “Sovcomflot” PJSC on the successful completion of the transit and expressed gratitude to the captain and crew of the vessel for fulfilling a responsible task at a high professional level. “Rosmorrechflot” head Alexander Poshivay made a report on the Agency efforts to provide navigation safety in the water area of ​​the Northern Sea Route, including the issuance of permits for navigation in this area by the NSR Administration, taking into account the ice conditions. He noted the 2% growth in the number of permits for the NSR navigation issued in 2020. Recalling the continuation of hydrographic studies on the NSR in accordance with the plan agreed by Rosmorrechflot, he announced the planned growth of survey activities on the Northern Sea Route routes by 2.5 times for 2021, up to 75 thousand kilometers. Also, the operation of six GLONASS control and correction stations and the transmission of information on the safety of navigation to ships will be ensured.

The captains of six seaports located on the NSR continuously exercise state port control and implement a permitting procedure for leaving the ports to prevent ships that do not meet current requirements from entering the Arctic waters, the head of “Rosmorrechflot” noted.

“Reducing the duration of the voyage when using the NSR in comparison with the traditional southern route through the Suez Channel provides not only economic efficiency, but also a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of cargo transportation. The volume of carbon dioxide emissions within the framework of this transit will be 3000 tons or 30% lower compared to similar transportation along the southern route,” commented Mr. Igor Tonkovidov. The use of satellite ice reconnaissance data as well as analytical methods for assessing and forecasting ice conditions, developed by Sovcomflot specialists, made it possible to choose the safest and most cost-effective route for the vessel, he added.



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