News review of the events on the NSR
#1 June 2020

NSR borders will not be expanded

The Russian government will not change the borders of the Northern Sea Route due to possible contradictions with international law. Discussion of this idea began in May. The case touched on including five seas in the NSR – the Barents, White, Pechora, Bering and Okhotsk, within the framework of the exclusive economic zone of Russia. This would guarantee the implementation of the decree of President Vladimir Putin, who ordered to ensure the transportation of 80 million tons of cargo per year by 2024. Most of all, Rosatom objected to the expansion of borders. The state corporation explained that this would entail problems at the international level. After the appropriate changes to the Merchant Shipping Code, the operation of the rules for navigation on the NSR will automatically expand to new waters and there will be contradictions with international law.

According to the 234th article of the UN Convention on the Maritime Law, coastal states have the right, within the exclusive economic zone, to establish special rules for ships only in ice-covered areas. These rules should help to prevent pollution of the marine environment where particularly severe climatic conditions and the presence of ice for most of the year form an increased danger to shipping, and pollution can “irreversibly disturb” the ecological balance. Under the conditions of global warming, it is difficult to prove the presence of ice in new waters; a number of ports that are proposed to be included in the NSR do not freeze at all. As a result, the point of view of Rosatom Corporation was recognized as true.

Deadline for delivery of nuclear icebreaker “Arktika”

The Russian leading nuclear icebreaker “Arktika” is expected to be commissioned this fall. According to the general director of the state corporation Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, the ship’s sea trials began on June, 20 and it is planned to get the icebreaker for commercial operation at the Atomflot base in September – October this year.

Earlier, the commissioning deadlines for “Arktika” were postponed twice by “Baltic Shipyard”: initially, the commissioning was scheduled for May-June 2019, then for May 2020. The new deadline is the third one.

The main nuclear icebreaker “Arktika”, project 22220, was previously built at “Baltic Shipyard” in St. Petersburg, and now it is building two serial nuclear icebreakers “Sibir” and “Ural”. In August 2019, Rosatom and “Baltic Shipyard” signed a contract for the construction of two more serial nuclear icebreakers of this project. The laying of the fourth universal nuclear icebreaker “Yakutia” took place on May 26 this year at “Baltic Shipyard”. The customer for the construction of these nuclear powered vessels is Atomflot.

Russian company orders two barges in Korea for work in the Arctic

The South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) received an order from the Russian gas producer NOVATEK for the construction of two barges. The transaction value is $ 748.2 million. The vessels will be used for storage and transshipment of LNG and will serve hubs for LNG transshipment in Murmansk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. The capacity of one barge is 380 thousand cubic meters of LNG. According to DSME, the delivery of two barges is planned for the end of 2022. In addition, the Korean shipyard signed an option with NOVATEK for two more such stores.

The construction of the complexes should help NOVATEK to optimize logistics and reduce the work distance of expensive gas carriers with high ice class when transporting LNG from the Ob Bay. At transshipment points, cargo from LNG plants on the Yamal and Gydan will be loaded onto conventional tankers and delivered to key LNG markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Transshipment terminals should not only significantly reduce the cost of transportation, but also the time of LNG delivery to Europe and Asia. They will also promote the expansion of navigation eastward.

The launch of LNG transshipment complexes is scheduled for the end of 2022. The cost of the terminal in Kamchatka was estimated at about 80 billion rubles, among them 20 billion rubles should allocate the state to federal infrastructure.

The transshipment complex in Murmansk should cost 70 billion rubles, the state gives 0.9 billion rubles. Both projects are included in a comprehensive infrastructure modernization plan.

Port Pevek prepares for summer navigation

Due to the beginning of ice melting and the onset of favorable weather conditions, the Pevek seaport has begun to prepare for navigation in 2020. The water area of the port these days is being cleared of ice, but the ice cover can be maintained throughout the entire short summer period in the East Siberian Sea. Therefore, the opening of navigation in 2020 is planned in early July, and the first ships with icebreaking support should approach the seaport in the first decade of July.

Pevek port is located in Chukotka. This is the northernmost port of Russia. On average, over the summer navigation it processes up to 420-440 thousand tons of various cargoes, including about 100 thousand tons of oil products.

The economic prospects of the port are related to the gold deposits Kupol, Dvoynoe, Mayskoye, the prospective development of the Shtokverka and Peschanka deposits, as well as the role of the intermodal connecting transport center.

Globally, the development of the port is associated with a large-scale and multilateral program for the development of the Arctic, including the development of continental and offshore fields, the development of the Northern Sea Route and the implementation of other projects, including those in the field of scientific research, ecology and Arctic tourism.

At present, Rosmorport is reconstructing berths No. 1 and No. 2 of the Pevek port.

Atomflot navigates “Vladimir Voronin” LNG tanker along the Northern Sea Route

On June 2, in the Chukchi Sea, “Yamal” nuclear icebreaker completed the icebreaking support of LNG carrier “Vladimir Voronin”. The route went through the eastern region of the NSR. This voyage was the second after an early pilot voyage of “Christophe de Margerie” tanker. The gas carrier with cargo left the port of Sabetta on May 24. The ship headed for the Kara Sea, where it met with the nuclear icebreaker “50 let Pobedy” and the caravan moved eastward. The route was laid by the headquarters of Atomflot marine operations taking into account changes in the ice situation.

– For the first time in the history of Arctic navigation, a Yamalmax-class vessel passed the Matisen Strait in the south of the Nordenskiold archipelago. Passing one of the narrowest straits in the Arctic requires high professional skills from the crew,” said Atomflot General Director Mustafa Kashka.

On May 27, icebreaker “50 let Pobedy” completed the support after the caravan left the Vilkitskiy Strait fast ice. The gas tanker independently passed the Laptev Sea and part of the East Siberian Sea and on June 1 arrived in the Pevek region, where it was taken for navigation by the nuclear icebreaker “Yamal”. In total, “Vladimir Voronin” passed 760 nautical miles under the support of nuclear icebreakers.

According to Mustafa Kashka, today Atomflot is guaranteed to be able to extend eastbound navigation for up to 9-10 months and provide partners with access to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region.

“Sevmorput” completes winter-spring navigation

In early June, “Sevmorput” nuclear container ship returned to the home port of Murmansk. The only transport vessel in the world with a nuclear power plant has successfully completed 3 voyages since March. After the completion of the scheduled dock repair in St. Petersburg, the nuclear container ship returned to the Arctic and ensured the delivery of general cargo for the “Arctic LNG 2” project without icebreaking assistance. Then it made two voyages in the direction of Franz Josef Land archipelago.  The crew unloaded concrete slabs, containers, building materials and vehicles on fast ice in Severnaya Bay. It is planned that after a crew change in mid-July, the ship will again enter the waters of the Northern Sea Route.

 

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