‘SCF Baltica’ completes her Arctic voyage

Posted: September 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

(Sep  14  2010)

The Aframax ‘SCF Baltica’ (117,000 dwt and ice class 1A-Super (Arc5), owned by the Sovcomflot (SCF) group, arrived at Ningbo on 6th September.  This successfully completing the tanker’s voyage transporting 70,000 tonnes of gas condensate (delivery from OAO Novatek), from Vitino and Murmansk, along the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

It took about 22 days for the ship to sail from Murmansk to Ningbo, which even taking into account that the voyage was experimental, meant it was twice as fast as the traditional routes for ships navigating via the Suez Canal, SCF said.

From 17th to 27th August, ‘SCF Baltica’ safely passed via the NSR from Cape Zhelaniya (Novaya Zemlya Island) to Cape Dezhnev, including technical anchorage at the port of Pevek.

She covered 2,500 nautical miles at an average speed of 10 knots.

The tanker sailed through the traditional shipping lanes of the NSR along rather shallow areas, including the Sannikov Strait. To pass through these areas safely, the tanker’s draught and speed were reduced.

In future, new high-latitude deep-sea routes, which are to the North of the Novosibirsk Islands, will allow the passage of ships with a draught of more than 15 m.

Sovcomflot’s senior executive vice-president Evgeny Ambrosov said: “Taking into account the results of the voyage, our experts at Sovcomflot, together with the structural units of Rosatom and Russia’s Ministry of Transport, will adjust the previous risk assessment related to navigating along the Northern Sea Route and the factors which are to be taken into account for future voyages.

“These include the voyages of an Arctic Panamax shuttle tanker of 70,000 dwt and ice class Arc6, and a Suezmax of 162,000 dwt and ice class Arc4, scheduled for 2011. The company is checking the possibilities of widening the time limits for Arctic navigation and increasing the quantity of cargo shipped,” he explained.

The tanker’s master Capt Alexander Nikiforov said, “The voyage went smoothly. In general, the weather conditions were favourable. A system of navigational safety measures for the passage of ‘SCF Baltica’, the largest ship to ever navigate along the Northern Sea Route, was applied in co-operation with the headquarters of maritime operations in the Western sector of the Arctic.

“The escort by nuclear-powered icebreakers was provided by FGUP Atomflot. The icebreakers escorted the tanker in the icy areas of the Laptev Sea and the East-Siberian Sea, where 90-100% of the surface is covered with ice some of which is more than two metres thick in certain places,” he said.

  1. Sergey Syto says:

    Most interesting is a passage through Sannikov Stright. What canons of navigation say about?

    • minerva10 says:


      Welcome to my Blog. Thanks for the comment-which is really a valid question; You seem to know more about this passage than me (the outside observer). Will be glad to hear your own input!


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