Sovcomflot’s LNG tanker “Christophe de Margerie” is transiting the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route, the first ever time a large-tonnage cargo ship has made such a voyage in February. Traditionally, transit navigation in the east part of the Arctic is over in November to resume in July only.
“Christophe de Margerie” set sail from Sabetta with a load of LNG for China’s port of Jiangsu on January 5 and transited the Northern Sea Route safely unassisted by icebreakers within 11 days.
After discharging her cargo in Jiangsu, the gas carrier started on a back voyage on January 27. On February 7, the vessel entered the Northern Sea Route at Cape Dezhnev, where the nuclear icebreaker “50 Let Pobedy” met her to escort through the ice to Sabetta.
As of February 16, the two vessels are approaching the Vilkitsky Strait in the Laptev Sea. The convoy is expected to arrive at Sabetta in the Kara Sea on February 19.
In a meeting with RF Vice Premier Yury Trutnev, Sovcomflot CEO Igor Tonkovidov told about the experimental voyage in the high-latitude part of the Northern Sea Route basin.
He noted that the experiment allows of expanding the navigation period in the eastern part of the Arctic significantly and advancing year-round navigation in the Northern Sea Route basin.