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Sovcomflot vessel completes first leg of Northern Sea Route

London: Sovcomflot reports that its SCF Baltica aframax tanker has arrived in Pevek, thereby completing the first and most navigationally demanding stage of its historic Arctic voyage from Murmansk to China.
 
With an escort of nuclear-powered ice-breakers, the ship covered the 2,500 nautical miles between Murmansk and Pevek in 11 days. The vessel's route took her through the Barents Sea (North of Cape Zhelaniya on Novaya Zemlya Island); the Vilkitsky Strait, which ended in the Taimyr ice field, then through the Sannikov Strait, the Laptev Sea and ice fields of the East-Siberian Sea.
 
The tanker and her cargo of 70,000 tonnes of gas condensate (owned by OAO NOVATEK) completed this stage of her voyage ahead of schedule. According to Sovcomflot this underlines the real scope to reduce transit times for  cargoes along the Northern Sea Route. The voyage also confirms the economic potential of the Northern Sea Route, for delivering hydrocarbons to the countries of Asia-Pacific Region.
 
Sergey Frank, Sovcomflot President and CEO, said: "The Arctic voyage of the tanker SCF Baltica has confirmed the possibility of operating large ice-class tankers along the NSR. Statistics collected during the voyage will form the foundation of a unique data base, which will allow the preparation of similar voyages for large vessels in future. Sovcomflot is planning to send a Suezmax vessel of at least Ice Class 1A Super along the NSR, enabling it to pass through the fields 100 per cent covered with ice along the way."
 
SCF Baltica is expected to arrive at her discharge port - Ningbo (China) in the People's Republic of China - in the first half of September 2010. [26/09/10]

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