Russian gas producer Novatek plans to use nuclear icebreakers to keep the Northern Sea Route open all year long for its LNG. The Arctic is considered as one of the most challenging shipping routes. However, lately more and more ships actually prefer this route.
Namely, Reuters cited Novatek Chief Financial Officer Mark Gyetvay, saying that the company plans to keep the Northern Sea Route open the whole year between 2023-2025. This will be achieved by using 100-megawatt-hour nuclear icebreakers.
Novatek is the operator of the Yamal LNG facilities in Russia’s Arctic north. The facilities have already produced 11 million tonnes of LNG, after starting production in December 2017.
Novatek is not the only company considering the Northern Sea Route. Lately more and more ships actually prefer the Northern Sea Route. In fact, large companies are sending their ships through Arctic Routes:
- On September 11, Atomflot’s nuclear icebreaker “50 Years of Victory” escorted the container vessel Venta Maersk; the first ever container ship on an Arctic route, travelling from the East to Northern Europe along the Northern Sea Route.
- ESL Shipping received the bulk carrier ‘Viikki’ which will travel to the Baltic Sea via the Northern Sea Route to Japan.
- Cosco’s Tian En’s maiden voyage started after it sailed through the Bering Strait on August 17, having left from Lianyungang Port in China on August 4. The ship travelled the Northern Sea Route along the coast of Russia, between the Pacific and the Atlantic.
- Sovcomflot’s icebreaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie, crossed the Northern Sea Route in a new record time for a merchant ship without icebreaker support.