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An ice breaker and two bulk carriers are being forced to wait out the winter off Russia’s Arctic coast after the ice became to thick for safe navigation.

Arctic shipping and the North Sea Route (NSR) could receive a boost from the coming into force of the Polar Code and thawing of relations between the US and Russia according to brokers Banchero Costa.

Port Bronka, the new outlying deepwater terminal in St Petersburg, is reported to have successfully completed its six-month start-up phase after regular services began in January.

SCF Tankers, a subsidiary of Russia’s Sovcomflot (SCF Group), announces it has won an auction to buy nine ice-class crude and product tankers formerly belonging to bankrupt Prisco (Primorsk International Shipping Co) for $215m.

Maersk Line and Russian aluminium producer Rusal have penned an agreement for the cargo transportation of the latter’s products particularly aluminium and alloys.

Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) has entered into an agreement with Russian state firm Rosneft Oil Company and Norwegian drilling equipment firm MHWirth to set up a joint venture in Russia.

A dual-fuel icebreaker, the EUR123m ($140.5m) Polaris, which is currently in the final stages of construction at Russian-owned Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, is due to start LNG-fuelled sea trails in early June.

Russian container terminal operator Global Ports saw a 31% drop in container volumes hit by sanctions and the country’s economic woes.

Dubai-based port group DP World has launched a joint venture with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) dubbed DP World Russia, to invest a total of $2bn in upgrading the country’s ports.

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has signed an agreement to class a new Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea.

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