The US Coast Guard’s next icebreaker is based on a German research vessel, and is also equipped with a Finnish propulsion design. The vessel will be driven by American diesels, according to shipbuilder VT Halter Marine. The US Department of the Navy had appointed VT Halter Marine to be the prime contractor of a $745,940,860 contract for the construction of USCG’s Heavy Polar Icebreaker.
According to Reuters, the US refused to sign an agreement in the Arctic due to discrepancies over climate change wording, risking the cooperation in the polar region at the sharp edge of global warming. The meeting between eight nations in Finland’s Rovaniemi on Tuesday, May 7, was aiming to provide a two-year agenda to balance the challenge of global warming, with sustainable development of mineral wealth.
IMO announced that it has been granted observer status at the Arctic Council. This will enable the organization to build on previous cooperation with the Arctic Council and engage in close collaboration on various issues related to shipping in the Arctic, and especially in search and rescue, pollution response and maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.
State Expert Review Agency approved Lukoil’s oil spill response technology. Based on the use of absorbents and biotechnologies, the technology is designed specifically for marine and freshwater ecosystems of the Arctic region. The technology has strains of microorganisms that can be used in the Arctic regions, where application of conventional oil containment and skimming techniques is obstructed by the harsh environment.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is worried about Russia’s aggressive behaviour in the Arctic, while China’s actions should also be watched closely. This comes amid increasing divisions in the Arctic regarding global warming and access to minerals. However, Mr. Pompeo said that all were welcome to share in the Arctic’s wealth.
Harjit S. Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defence, took part in a ceremony at Irving Shipbuilding for the start of construction for the fourth Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the future HMCS William Hall. This is the fourth of six such ships to be built for the Royal Canadian Navy. The AOPS project is part of Canada’s renewed focus on surveillance of Canadian territory, particularly its Arctic regions.
Russia has turned to China seeking to agree on a collaboration to develop ports as well as other infrastructure in the Arctic. Namely, Russia aspires to partner with China to create a shipping route along the Northern Sea Route. This plan includes the development of new ports and other infrastructure, aiming to to increase cargo shipments across the ‘Northern Sea Route’.
Canada’s Department of National Defence announced that the nation’s fleet of Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be operational by 2025. The new fleet will comprise of six ice-capable Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) that will be used by the Royal Canadian Navy for surveillance operations in Canadian waters.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Rosatom group and the Port of Hamburg Marketing, to strengthen and develop cooperation between the ports along the Northern Sea Route and the ports in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The two parties agreed to advance their exchange of information and experience, as well as joint design and implementation of international cooperation projects.
Through an Integrated Program Office, the US Coast Guard and US Navy awarded VT Halter Marine Inc., of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a fixed price incentive contract for the Detail Design and Construction of the USCG’s lead Polar Security Cutter.
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