More oil and ore along Northern Sea Route

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The Northern Sea Route is what Norwegian Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen called “The Northeast Passage” and connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean running from Norway to the northeast along the Russian coast. Anyone living here, including Norwegians are of course concerned about the possible environmental impact on this pristine territory if there were to be an oil spill and the risk of dumping of spill oil and other garbage.
The most worrying line below is certainly this one: “These operations will be conducted in late August or in September by tankers which are not specially designed for Arctic shipping.”, bearing in mind that the Arctic is still among the world’s most dangerous waters in spite of global warming and melting icecaps.
Jonas Qvale
Barents Observer 2011-02-11 Original article here
The ice-classed bulk carrier MV Nordic Barents was the first foreign flag vessel to sail the Northern Sea Route in transit with iron-ore consentrate from Kirkens to China.The ice-classed bulk carrier MV Nordic Barents was the first foreign flag vessel to sail the Northern Sea Route in transit with iron-ore consentrate from Kirkenes to China.
Photo: Nordic Bulk Carriers AS 

At least 150,000 tons of oil, 400,000 tons of gas condensate and 600,000 tons of iron ore are planned shipped along the Northern Sea Route in 2011.

The several successful shipping operations in 2010 are now making shipping companies look at the Northern Sea Route with increasing interest. According to Nord News, at least 150,000 tons of oil are planned shipped from Murmansk to China. In addition, there are plans for about 400,000 tons of gas condensate and 600,000 tons of iron ore to be sent along the same route.

The first shipment of gas condensate will be made already in May this year from the port of Vitino, Nord News reports. Most likely, Sovcomflot’s 70,000 ton ice-protected tankers “Kirill Lavrov” and “Vasilii Dinkov” will conduct the operations. Another two such operations are planned later in summer.

In addition, Sovcomflot will apply tankers with a capacity of up to 150,000 tons to several other operations. Novatek, which recently signed a cooperation agreement with Rosatomflot, plan to send at least 400,000 tons of gas condensate along the route. These operations will be conducted in late August or in September by tankers which are not specially designed for Arctic shipping.

Sovcomflot will also ship 150,000 tons of oil from the Belokamenka terminal tanker permanently located in the Kola Bay outside Murmansk City to China, Portnews.ru reports.

Read also: Preparing for next year’s Northern Sea Route season

In addition to the oil and gas condensate, also significant volumes of iron ore are planned shipped on the route. The Norwegian-based company Tschudi Arctic Shipping in 2010 shipped 40,000 tons of iron ore from Kirkenes, Norway, to China. In 2011, the same company plans to send up to 350,000 tons of ore along the NSR, Nord News reports.

Read also: Iron-ore to break ice towards China

And that is not all. Similar volumes of iron ore are planned sent from Murmansk along the east-bound route, Nord News informs.

As previously reported by BarentsObserver, the Russian icebreaker fleet had already by December 2010, got 15 orders for assistance in 2011.

Sovcomflot is positioning itself to become the leading shipping operator at the Northern Sea Route. Not only Russian companies seek Arctic partnerships with the shipping major. Recently the company signed a cooperation agreement also with a leading Chinese company.

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