Among the ships which have used the Northern Sea Route across the top of Russia was the tanker “STI Heritage”, 73,956dwt, owned by Scorpio Tankers Inc and managed by Scorpio Ship Management (SSM), of Monaco.
The Northern Sea Route, which connects the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean via the Russian Arctic coast, is only open occasionally for international commercial shipping and is navigable with the assistance of icebreakers from mid-summer to mid-autumn.
SSM said: “In addition to the considerable savings achieved in distance and fuel by using the Northern Sea Route, ships also avoid the Suez Canal tolls and the risks associated with piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean region.”
The “STI Heritage” left Vitino, in Russia, on July 17 with a cargo of 61,000 tonnes of Purovsky Condensate. After stopping briefly at Murmansk, the ship proceeded to the northern end of New Land area for her rendezvous with the nuclear powered shallow-draft icebreaker “Vaygach”, 20,791gt. For the passage, the “STI Heritage” carried an ice adviser and was escorted by one, and at times two, icebreakers owned and operated by the state unitary enterprise Atomflot.
The “STI Heritage” arrived in the Bering Strait on July 29 having completed the Northern Sea Route passage in a time of just eight days. The ship arrived at her destination, Map Ta Phut, in Thailand on Aug 16, completing the total voyage, from her previous discharge port of Houston, Texas, of about 9,000 miles.
The “STI Heritage” operates in the Scorpio Panamax Tanker Pool, and is on time charter to Gard Shipping AS, but she made this voyage under a charter to Novatek Gas & Power.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - November 2011 Issue
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