The first 4 months in 2021 on the Northern Sea Route were eventful. In general, in terms of statistics, the traffic was similar to 2020, the number of ships operating on the NSR has slightly increased. The first two months were marked by experimental voyages to the east and back. The LNG tanker “Christophe de Margerie” left the port of Sabetta on January 5 (headed to Jiangsu and arrived there on January 26), followed by “Nikolay Evgenov” on January 6 (arrived at the port of Pyeongtaek on January 27). Both vessels crossed the eastern sector of the NSR without icebreaker support. “Christophe de Margerie” went back to the port of Sabetta with the help of “50 let Pobedy” icebreaker. Also there was a voyage of “Nikolay Zubov” LNG tanker, which left the port of Dalian on December 25, 2020 and entered the water area of the NSR along the Cape Dezhnev on January 6. The vessel arrived at the port of Sabetta on January 18 without the support of an icebreaker.
March and April met the navigation on the NSR with the severe ice conditions in the Kara Sea. By the end of March, in most areas of the Kara Sea, the medium type of ice conditions changed to heavy, which forced the majority of ships to change their traditional route via the Kara Gate to an alternative one – along the Cape Zhelaniya. Another result of the worsening ice conditions was the increased activity of icebreakers (compared to 2020 in the same period).
In spring of this year, another point appeared, where ships headed for winter navigation – the Syradasayskoe Coal Field. In March and April, there were 3 voyages by tanker and general cargo ship, as well as 4 passages to / from this field by icebreakers. The voyages are probably related to the development of the coal field. The development involves the construction of the West Taimyr industrial cluster for the production of coal concentrates from coking coal on the Taimyr Peninsula. The cluster construction project will include a coal mine, an advanced processing plant, a rotation village and the offshore coal terminal “Yenisey”.