Russia deployed a nuclear-powered icebreaker on May 25, under its program to expand its fleet of the ships. This move aims to improve its ability to leverage the Arctic’s commercial possibilities. Now, the ship ‘Ural’ is one of three vessels that when completed will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers globally.
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.
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.
Nuyina, the Antarctic Supply Research Vessel which is being built for the Australian government’s Antarctic Division has gotten unique rudders and steering gear. The project is lead by Damen Marine Component (DMC), who completed the supply and installation of a number of critical systems.
The Arctic is considered as one of the most challenging shipping routes. Being open only a few months, few ships have chosen this route for their voyages, worrying about the extreme weather. However, this seems to be changing, as lately more and more ships actually prefer the Northern Sea Route. Today, there is more traffic in this route, as journey times between Asia and Europe can be reduced by up to two weeks.
The Canadian tug Lois M arrived at the disabled chemical/oil products tanker Jana Desgagnes (IMO 9046564) off Cape Ray during the afternoon of March 24th. The tanker was disabled as it got stuck in heavy ice in the Cabot Strait.
When sailing in the Gulf of Bothnia, which is full of ice, many additional concerns compared to sailing in a plain liquid sea will occur. The thickness of the ice affects the speed and the fuel consumption of the vessel, while there is always the risk of getting stuck. Sea Traffic Management, through the Winter Navigation Service, aims to give a solution to this problems and help ships navigate safely.
The crew of US’s only heavy icebreaker, Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, returned to Seattle on Monday, March 11, after supporting Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, the US military operation to resupply the US Antarctic Program. The crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star experienced flooding, an electrical outage, electrical switchboard issues and an incinerator fire, before accomplishing their mission.
Bellona reported that Russian officials will back the overhaul of an ailing Far Eastern shipyard as they plan to build an enormous nuclear icebreaker the Kremlin hopes will cement its control of Arctic waterways. The icebreaker is the ‘Leader’, a vessel that firstly appeared four years ago. Now, the Russian Government is mobilizing billions of dollars to renovate the Zvezda shipyard to construct the vessel.
Polaris, as being the newest addition to Finland’s fleet, is the first icebreaker that runs on LNG, a lower-carbon alternative to the diesel fuel which powers most large ships. The icebreaker is keeping shipping lanes open for about six months, enabling the voyage of cargo ships that carry steel, paper products and chemicals in and out of the ports serving northern Finland and neighbouring Sweden.
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