Image Courtesy: Hansa Heavy Lift
German shipping company Hansa Heavy Lift has transported the first-ever ship-to-shore (STS) cranes via the Northern Sea Route (NSR), relocating them from the port of St Petersburg to the port of Vostochny, spanning both the European and Far East regions of Russia.
According to the company, HHL Valparaiso is the first vessel to sail open hatch through the Northern Sea Route, which is covered by thick ice for most of the year and has a limited period of about two months open to cargo voyages.
This allowed the two cranes, each weighing 820 metric tons and measuring 61 meters in height and 92 meters in width, to be shipped partially above and below deck.
“The Northern Sea Route was the only viable option to complete this voyage in the required timeframe. In the Arctic there is no room for mistakes. During the passage, the vessel has limited connection and only a few points of shelter,” Gleb Faldin, Commercial Manager, Hansa Heavy Lift, said.
HHL Valparaiso traveled from Qingdao, China, to St Petersburg, Russia, via the NSR to load the cranes and then went back through the NSR a second time to complete the mission.
Crews had only a few weeks to complete the voyage, as the cargo was loaded in October and had to be delivered to its destination by late November before the route completely froze over.
“The Northern Sea Route is an important alternative that can save weeks from a voyage, but to be successful you need careful planning and engineering, the right equipment, capable vessels, and experienced crews,” Heinrich Nagrelli, Project & Transport Engineer, Hansa Heavy Lift, said.
Hansa Heavy Lift is a tramp carrier specializing in the ocean transport of project, heavy lift, and super heavy lift cargoes. The company’s fleet is comprised of 17 multipurpose heavy lift vessels with an average age of five years.