Nornickel to help rescue ships on Northern Sea Route
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Nornickel to help rescue ships on Northern Sea Route

December 02, 2021

The company will change its vessels’ schedule and provide the icebreaker Taimyr.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Nornickel will hand over the Taimyr nuclear icebreaker to Atomflot’s disposal for a rescue operation to withdraw ships trapped in ice in the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route(NSR).

As a reminder, in November, difficult ice conditions led to the blockage of several vessels at various sections of the Northern Sea Route. Due to the icebreakers shortage, deputy general director of the state atomic energy corporation Rosatom Vyacheslav Ruksha appealed to the company with a request to provide the Taimyr icebreaker for the rescue operation.

Despite a tense production program to navigate the fleet to Dudinka, Nornickel responded to the request and changed the ship schedule to help Atomflot move the blocked vessels out.

“Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Nornickel allocated the only nuclear icebreaker involved by the company to support the rescue operation. We have always appreciated the relationship with our partner and sincerely thank the Nornickel’s management for their responsible approach to the issue and for providing the nuclear icebreaker, which is under a long-term contract with the company. Mutual assistance and revenues at sea are the top priority and characterize Nornickel as a reliable partner we can always rely on”, stressed Vyacheslav Ruksha.

As a reminder, Nornickel is one of the key operators of cargo transportation along the NSR with a six-vessels fleet of the reinforced ice class Arc7. The main icebreaker for escorting ships is the Taimyr nuclear-powered icebreaker. In 2020, the company’s fleet transported 1.63 million tons of cargo along the NSR.

The nuclear icebreaker fleet is the flagship of the large-scale modernization of the Norilsk industrial region transport infrastructure. The company is increasing the volume of traffic for the strategic investment projects implementation in the region, including the company’s main environmental initiative – the Sulfur Program.

To guarantee the fulfillment of these plans, Nornickel previously signed an agreement of intent with the Rosatom state atomic energy corporation and the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Repair Center to jointly design and build a dual-fuel icebreaker. In addition, Nornickel and Rosatom signed an agreement on icebreaker support until 2030.

Earlier, the gas carrier freed Mikhail Somov scientific ship, stuck in the ice, but the vessel was again covered with ice, and now it is getting out of the ice trap on its own.

Moreover, in November last year, the crew of the Avraamy Zavenyagin icebreaker, owned by the Polar Transport Branch (part of the Nornickel structure), freed a caravan of the Siberia-RechTrans transport company’s seven ships trapped in ice in the Igarka region. The rescue operation lasted 11 days. All crew members were noted with letters of thanks.

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Text: Angelica Stepanova, Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov

December 02, 2021

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