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Two German Cargo Ships Depart Vladivostok Bound For Holland - W/O Icebreakers - Reuters

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:21 PM
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Two German Cargo Ships Depart Vladivostok Bound For Holland - W/O Icebreakers - Reuters
BERLIN - Two German ships set off on Friday on the first journey across Russia's Arctic-facing northern shore without the help of icebreakers after climate change helped opened the passage, the company said. Niels Stolberg, president and CEO of Beluga Shipping GmbH, said the "Beluga Fraternity" and "Beluga Foresight" left the Russian port of Vladivostok on the historic and cost-saving journey with cargo picked up in South Korea bound for Holland.

The melting of Arctic ice as a result of climate change has made it possible to send Beluga's multi-purpose heavy lift ships along the legendary Northeast Passage, Stolberg said. Beluga got Russian authorities' clearance to send the first non-Russian commercial vessels through the route on Friday.

The Northern Sea Route trims 4,000 nautical miles off the usual 11,000-mile journey via the Suez Canal -- yielding considerable savings in fuel costs and CO2 emissions, he said. "Russian submarines and icebreakers have used the Northern Route in the past but it wasn't open for regular commercial shipping before now because there are many areas with thick ice," Stolberg told Reuters in an email interview.

"It was only last summer that satellite pictures revealed that the ice is melting and a small corridor opened which could enable commercial shipping through the Northeast Passage -- if all the circumstances were right and the requirements were met."

EDIT

http://www.planetark.com/enviro-news/item/54351
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:23 PM
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1. I am not sure I should be happy about this
;-(
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:01 PM
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2. Bloody amazing
n/t
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-03-09 08:01 PM
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3. The key is WITHOUT ICEBREAKERS...
Edited on Thu Sep-03-09 08:04 PM by happyslug
The Russians have been shipping through that passage since before WWII but with ice breakers. The most famous example of this was the Koment in August 1940. When the Komet went through in August 1940 it had to wait almost a month to get an Ice Breaker and then get a second ice breaker's assistance later on. Both are no longer needed given that the coast of Siberia is now ice free. Thus this may be the first German Ship through that ocean since the Komet.

Story of the Komet:
http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2-1Epi-c3-WH2-1...

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