IB Polaris is the first icebreaker in the world to use an LNG engine and has bunkered LNG at the Tornio LNG terminal in Röyttä Harbour. Polaris joined the fleet of Finland’s icebreaker operator Arctia in September 2016. Except the use of LNG, the lubricant used in the vessel’s propulsion system is biodegradable. The ship’s gray water, which basically consists of showering water, is collected to a container which is emptied during port calls.
The volumes that were shipped from Russian ports were increased by 25% in 2018, according to data from the Russian Ministry of Transport. Specifically, 97.2 million tonnes were handled by regional seaports, from which almost 70% was oil products and LNG. In 2018, the volumes of goods shipped on the Northern Sea Route amounted to more than 18 million tons.
In order to protect the coastline of the US from the dangers of offshore oil drilling, Congressman Jared Huffman reintroduced, on January 8 the West Coast Ocean Protection Act and the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act. TThe Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act would make the Arctic Ocean off-limits to any future drilling proposals by not allowing any new or renewed leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas or any other minerals in the Arctic Ocean Planning Areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.
Researchers on the Weddell Sea Expedition, funded by the Flotilla Foundation and organized by the Scott Polar Research Institute, announced they successfully completed the scientific research programme at the Larsen C Ice Shelf and are now hoping to locate the position of Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship ‘Endurance’.
‘Boris Sokolov’, the 214 meter long tanker on January 25 arrived in Murmansk after a 6-week voyage from Nansha, China. The vessel was accompanied by the new LNG carrier ‘Boris Davydov’, which was constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) yard in South Korea. Aker Arctic, the Finnish ship design company, reported that the ‘Boris Sokolov’ will be used to transmit gas condensate from Sabetta LNG terminal to European and Asian customers. Also, it could be used as a regular oil tanker.
HMS Protector, Royal Navy survey ship, smashed through approximately 300 miles of Antarctic ice to help scientists begin a five year mission in order to understand how West Antarctica contributes to global sea-level rise. The vessel ‘opened the path’ in the Antarctic to support a team of 100 scientists who seek to understand a glacier the size of Great Britain.
The 150 crewmembers of the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star arrived on January 17, in Antarctica along with a resupply vessel during Operation Deep Freeze. This is a joint military service mission to resupply US interests in Antarctica. The Polar Star arrived after completing an 18-mile trip through the ice to McMurdo Sound.
IMO’s Polar Code aims to ensure that ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic areas consider extremes of temperature and make sure critical equipment remains operational. Draft guidance for navigation and communication equipment intended for use on ships operating in polar waters is expected to be finalized by the current session of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue.
Barclays, a UK based international bank, published an ‘Energy and Climate Change Statement’ focusing on oil and gas drilling in Arctic. According to the statement, the bank restricts its financing for exploration or extraction of oil and gas and supported that any client conducting new exploration of or extraction of Arctic oil and gas will be subject to the Employment Development Department, EDD.
Is Polar Code enough to ensure safety & environmental protection of seafarers, passengers and Arctic people? The majority (74%) of the participants in a quick SAFETY4SEA Poll replied no, while just 26% are satisfied with the application of the Code. But what lies behind this negative perception toward Polar Code?
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