Thursday, January 27, 2011

First ever round-trip Arctic Northeast voyage without icebreaker

"2009 was the show-off year, 2010 is the breakthrough year and 2011 will be take-off year for commercial shipping along the Northern Sea Route."

The Norilsk-Nickel operated vessel Monchegorsk arrived at the port of Dudinka on Thuesday after a 41 day long round-trip to China via the Northern Sea Route.

The ice-classed diesel-electric vessel sailed from Murmansk on September 15 via the port of Dudinka by the Yenisei River and further to Shanghai with metal. She became the first ever vessel to sail the entire Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance.
Monchegorsk arrived in Shanghai in China on October 17th where she unloaded metal and loaded Chinese consumer goods to bring back to Norilsk.
Tuesday this week, Monchegorsk wrote herself into the history book of Arctic navigation for the second time when the vessel arrived back to the port of Dudinka. The vessel became the first ever vessel to sail a round-trip to Asia via the Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance.
According to a press-release posted at the web-portal of the company, Monchgorsk had a total duration of 58 days, of which steaming time was 41 days holding an average speed of 11.5 knots.
Also, Mochegorsk set a new speed record for November navigation on the distance from Cape Dezhnev to Dudinka. Cape Dezhnev forms the easternmost mainland point of Eurasia on the Chukotka Peninsula, just across the Bering Strait from Alaska. Monchegorsk sailed from here to portside Dudinka in just over 7 days.
Norilsk-Nickel’s division for Transport and Logistics are surly proud of the voyage.
- For us, is was an invaluable experience, which we will use in future planning of our transport operations, says Sergei Buzov, Deputy General Director of the division.
- The voyage may be regarded as the Company’s contribution to the development of Russian Maritime Declaration in exploration and development of new Arctic regions and Arctic wealth. It proves the effectiveness of decisions made by Maritime Council and Russian Ministry of Transport to explore the Northern Sea Route as a short transit thoroughfare connecting Europe and South-East Asia, and confirms the possibility of prolonged Arctic navigation period, says Sergei Buzov.

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