Arctic News

“Energy from the river” is not the same as the hydro electric power as we know it.
The idea of using natural flowing water as energy source is nothing new. Water wheel to drive mills are several hundred years old, but this is different:

Can this be used in other rivers and streams? Yes it can, without building dams, hindering fish migration and even shipping.

PS> Several small hydroelectric power stations are operating in Norway to supply power to nearby households. Some are over 100 years old but recently upgraded. (But these are dependent on a bit of fall height)

More are planned, some to power hydrogen production.The hydrogen will be used to power ferries, trucks and buses etc. in the near area:

Land appears to have been secured for the Arctic Container Port on the Kola Peninsula:
https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2020/08/military-land-kola-coast-could-become-site-new-arctic-container-port#:~:text=Photo%3A%20Atomflot-,Military%20land%20on%20Kola%20coast%20could%20become%20site%20for%20new,a%20projected%20major%20Arctic%20terminal.

That open up possibilities for transshipment between conventional container ships and expensive ARC 5-7 ship for the more difficult bit.
Kirkenes in Norway is thus missing out on the option to be an Arctic container hub. (??)

The first trip with frozen fish from Kamchatka to St. Petersburg was conducted last year.
For next year there are three voyages planned (Nothing this year apparently)
The voyage was/will be performed by the world’s only active nuclear powered merchant ship, the container/LASH carrier Sevmorput:
https://en.portnews.ru/comments/2844/
PS> No need for transshipment this time apparently.

Sevmorput is currently loading fish at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

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Smit has completed the northernmost wreck removal operation in history in Svalbard:
https://www.maritime-executive.com/index.php/article/smit-completes-northernmost-wreck-removal-project-ever#:~:text=Smit%20Salvage%20has%20completed%20the,completed%2C%20according%20to%20Norwegian%20authorities.
It took some time due to adverse weather and ice conditions last year.
This year Svalbard has had a balmy summer, with temperatures exceeding 20C recorded in Longyearbyen and little sea ice in the late season.

As reported earlier Russia is building 10 more icebreaking LNG Carriers for the Arctic LNG 2 project. The order has not be confirmed:

The Russians are really loading Zvezda with orders:

  • four icebreaking offshore vessels
  • one shallow-draught river icebreaker
  • ten LNG-powered Aframax tankers
  • fifteen icebreaking LNG carriers
  • three LNG-powered MR tankers
  • ten 42k DWT icebreaking shuttle tankers
  • one 69k DWT icebreaking shuttle tanker
  • the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker

As of today, Zvezda has launched one Aframax tanker (aft 3/4 built by Hyundai) and has another one under construction on the slip (aft 2/3 built by Hyundai) together with one of the icebreaking offshore vessels built completely on site. Production has started on various other projects, including the nuclear-powered icebreaker, and keels have been laid left and right. At least one of the icebreaking offshore vessels is already taking shape. In addition, one more two-thirds-of-an-Aframax has been spotted at Hyundai.

It may be tempting to ridicule the Russian approach, but that’s one way of building up shipbuilding capacity and capability. Sure, getting three-fourths of a ship, including all the difficult bits, from a foreign shipyard may sound like cheating at first, but it’s technology transfer in progress. In addition to building ships, there’s a huge import substitution program and to my knowledge at least the LNG carriers will feature Russian-made propulsion units instead of ABB’s products.

The only thing that worries me is that if all major orders are channeled to Zvezda, what’s left to the Russian shipbuilders who have already demonstrated their ability to build e.g. icebreakers in Russia? How about the companies that need to replace their obsolete ships now and not in ten years or whenever’s the next available slot in Bolshoy Kamen.

I don’t know if the hull is the most difficult part of a ship, even an icebreaking ship. (Maybe cheaper than to build it in Russia??)
I do agree it is a way to get technology, which is how others have done it as well.
PS> Where does the design come from? Has Finland contributed?

While icebreaker hulls are definitely more complex and labor-intensive, in the end it’s just steel work and the Russians have traditionally been quite good at it. However, at least in the past their biggest weakness was in outfitting and commissioning. At Zvezda, they are adopting more western/Asian shipbuilding practices with extensively outfitted megablocks. In addition, the commissioning engineers get an early start with the South Korean -built hulls as they don’t have to wait for years for the shipyard’s first fully-homegrown newbuilding to reach a state where they actually have something do wo.

As for who’s helping them, the offshore vessels are being developed in co-operation with Damen, Aframax tankers with Hyundai, and both LNG carriers and shuttle tankers with Samsung. Icebreaker designs come from Russia. I have not heard anything about the MR tankers; they could be of Russian design or they may have purchased a set of drawings from someone.

For you final question, I’m going with a Glomar response.

“For you final question, I’m going with a Glomar response”-
OK. I take that as a possible maybe.

More on the ARC-7 LNG Carriers.
In this article they are talking about 14 to be built (Even 15 further down):


That should keep the yard busy for while and be good training for Russian shipbuilding in general.

Chartering contract for the first vessel of the series was done separately:

In October 2019, the contracts were signed for chartering, financing and construction of a pilot ice-class LNG tanker to be built at the Zvezda shipyard.

I wonder what kind of traffic jams we are going to see in the Gulf of Ob once all these ships plus the ones rumored to be ordered from South Korea and/or China enter service…

Russian design bureaus revealed a new port icebreaker concept:

She has indeed load 206 containers of frozen fish in Kanchatska and are on her way to St.Petersburg via the NSR:
https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2020/09/sevmorput-sails-northern-sea-route-loaded-only-one-fifth-capacity#:~:text=Photo%3A%20Thomas%20Nilsen-,Sevmorput%20sails%20Northern%20Sea%20Route%20loaded%20to%20less%20than%20one,voyage%20to%20be%20carried%20out.

I notice that there are much emphasize on the fact that this is far from a full load for this vessel,

Could it be that the number of reefer plugs limits the number of reefer containers she can carry?

I recall reading somewhere that it was a bad year for salmon. However, I also think the ship can’t carry a full load of reefer containers.

Yes the number of plugs and the power available put a limit on the number of reefer containers a ship can carry,
(Unless they also carry additional power packs)

PS> I noticed it didn’t say if it was 206 TEUs or FEUs, but the container capacity was given in TEUs)

These days with reduced manning it is essential that the remote monitors system for reefers functions. The best method I have seen uses the power cable. To monitor reefers manually on average requires a minute per container. Someone once proposed that the electrician could monitor 1500 reefers manually and I replied only if you send us a day with longer hours than the one we have.

The Arktika is finally on her way to Murmansk and her first meeting with the Arctic:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/russia-says-world-largest-nuclear-icebreaker-arctic-voyage-1.5733729#:~:text=Known%20as%20"Arktika%2C"%20the,largest%20and%20most%20powerful%20icebreaker.

She has just passed under the Storebelt (Great Belt) Bridge and will be passing along the Norwegian coast on her way to Murmansk.

The raw power of Arctic icebreakers:

Greenpeace activist is back protesting drilling in the Arctic Reserve and offshore Alaska:

The Arctic Sunrise is the former Norwegian Seal catcher and polar expedition vessel Polarbjørn:


Seen here on an expedition in the Antarctic in 1993:

And in Tasmania on her way to or from Antarctica, either on the same or on another expedition to Antarctica:
image

She has been in the news many times for it’s exploits in the Arctic and around the world for Greenpeace.

Here is her Greenpeace page, with video link directly to a camera on board: