Bulk lines ply northern route
Two Scandinavian carriers said Thursday they are jointly transporting a shipment of iron ore from northern Norway to China via Russian and Arctic waters, the so-called Northern Sea Route.
Tschudi Shipping Co. and Danish Nordic Bulk Carriers are working in partnership with Russian Rosatomflot (the Russian national ice-breaking fleet), to provide two icebreaking vessels to escort the bulk carrier.
The endeavor is being launched to prove the efficacy of the northern route, which the companies said cuts the sailing distance by one-third and fuel costs by $180,000 per sailing.
The carriers said it is the first foreign-flag cargo vessel to receive permission from Russian authorities to transit the Arctic route from one foreign port to another.
The vessel, the Nordic Barents, operated on a charter by Danish Nordic, will depart from the port of Kirkenes in northern Norway and will transport 41,000 tons of iron ore. The destination port in China was not named.