Commercial shipping in the Arctic will undoubtedly continue to grow strongly, according to Evgeny Ambrosov, Senior Executive Vice-President of Russian shipping company Sovcomflot.
The growth is expected to be driven by the development of industrial and raw material projects in the Arctic zone of Russia, Ambrosov explains.
“In 2016, the record tonnage carried through the waters of the Northern Sea Route was surpassed; over 6.5 million tonnes were transported via the route. By 2020, this amount may be exceeded 3 times,” Amborosov, who is also deputy chairman of the Arctic Economic Council added while speaking at the International Arctic Forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue”.
However, as stressed, environmental safety should be one of the main priorities for the shipping companies operating in the Arctic. For this reason, companies should use “specially designed modern technology and …highly qualified personnel.”
Joining the discussion, Sovcomflot’s Chief Marine Inspector Mikhail Suslin, noted that shipping in the Arctic poses a number of risks: lack of hydrographic study of specific areas of the Arctic Ocean, a year-round ice factor and the need for qualified personnel.
Hence, it is key to use vessels with high ice class, communicate with the terminals and controllers, as well as organize special ice training of the crew so as to mitigate potential risks the said challenges might create.
Sovcomflot has just taken delivery of the world’s first icebreaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Kristof De Margerie from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).The ARC-7 class icebreaking LNG carrier, which recently completed its ice trials, will be deployed at a gas field on the Yamal Peninsula, in the western part of Siberia.
World Maritime News Staff