Arctic Circle talks about the Northern Sea Route, lying between Arctic waters and within Russia’s exclusive economic zone. The Route has seen a significant economic growth the last years, which also affected population change, which in this area chooses to leave for the hinterland.
Northern Sea Route
Russian natural gas producer Novatek announced that the Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker ‘Vladimir Rusanov’ completed the Northern Sea Route (NSR) passage via the Eastern direction, delivering a LNG cargo from the Yamal LNG project, at the port of Sabetta, to China’s port of Tianjin.
Russian natural gas producer Novatek announced Wednesday that Yamal LNG shipped the first LNG cargo to Japan in accordance with the long-term offtake agreement with French oil and gas company Total. The cargo was unloaded at the Tobata LNG Terminal.
TimeLab, a media-based Russian Company, was filming for a week the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Yamal conducting Arctic operations along the Northern Sea Route. The time-lapse presents ice-breaking operations in the Northern Sea Route.
A.P. Moller – Maersk announced on Friday, June 14, that it is under discussions with Russian icebreaker operator to transmit more goods through the Arctic shipping line, as the line becomes easier to access due to climate changes that result to reduction of sea ice, according to Reuters.
During the 2019 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Novatek, Sovcomflot, Cosco Shippinh Corporation Limited, and the Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd, signed a four-party agreement to establish a joint venture Maritime Arctic Transport LLC. The focus of the Maritime Arctic Transport joint venture is to manage an icebreaking tanker fleet of Arctic ice-class vessels.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, ROSATOM, Norilsk Nickel and DP World have agreed to jointly implement a project for the integrated development of the Northern Sea Route. The quadrilateral agreement of intent was signed on 6 June during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
ABB opened a Marine Service Center in Russia aiming to support the growing Arctic maritime industries. The newly inaugurated center aspires to support ABB’s ship power, propulsion and automation technologies and expand service capabilities for ice-going vessels. The new center occupies 2,000 m2 in a purpose-built facility with electrical and mechanical testing areas, and a workshop served by overhead gantry cranes.
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.
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.
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