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Arctic route to Europe saves 3,000 miles: Beluga

Arctic route to Europe saves 3,000 miles: Beluga

Hamburg: Beluga Shipping has completed the first commercial transit from Asia to Europe through the Arctic ocean north of Russia saving about 3,000 miles. It sent two multipurpose heavy lift carriers through the North East-Passage during August and September. ?The MV "Beluga Fraternity" and the MV "Beluga Foresight" followed completed the first official transit for commercial purposes through the Northeast-Passage in September and now Beluga is planning more Arctic journeys in 2010.
"By the completion of the Northeast-Passage transit and previously the safe discharging of the cargo in a rather remote area in Siberia, we have opened the gate to a seaway which will further gain in importance in the future. The savings of voyage costs to a total amount of about 300,000 Euro for each multipurpose heavy lift project carrier of the F-class, later about 600,000 Euro for each travelling vessel of our new Beluga P-class, are a major achievement particularly in times that have become economically more difficult. With regard to the global CO2 balance we are able to reduce the bunker consumption and cut down the environmentally harmful emissions by using the Northern Sea Route", said Niels Stolberg, President and CEO of Beluga Shipping.?For 2010 Beluga Shipping plans to transit the Northeast-Passage again. Contracts for the shipment of various heavy lift pieces with single weights of up to 1,000 tons are already booked in today and will have to be discharged offshore onto barges in Siberia to be further transported into their respective areas of destination. This year's pioneer voyages of the MV "Beluga Fraternity" and the MV "Beluga Foresight" are only the starting signal for Beluga Shipping GmbH to approach more innovative projects within the open time frame of six to eight weeks in summer, when a mostly ice free transit of the Northeast-Passage is possible. After the successful premiere the Northeast-Passage 2010 will now be planned with up to six vessels, then already including the newbuildings of the Beluga P-class which are due to be delivered as from autumn this year onwards. Their maximum tonnage capacities of 20,000 tons deadweight and crane capacities of 800 to 1,400 tons provide for a new generation of Beluga multipurpose heavy lift project carriers, by which the Bremen-based shipping company shortly strikes a path into the super heavy lift segment. [07/10/09]

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