During this summer there have been quite some news in connection to the northern sea-route, and it seems that even the most optimistic of projections will reveal themselves to be to modest- Recently the Arctic Portal published news on the first high capacity oil tanker going through the Northeast passage and now the first non-Russian bulk carrier to go through the Arctic.
The bulk carrier MV Nordic Barents, what is especially noteworthy of this trip is that it is the first time that a non-Russian cargo vessel sails this route- which is partially through Russian waters. The Northern Sea Route Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Rosatomflot, which operate the Russian national ice-breaking fleet, have given the project approval.
The planing of the trip has demanded close cooperation between Russian, Norwegian and Danish parties and will hopefully be the first of many such ventures.
The vessel will start it's journey from Kirkenes Norway, carrying approximately 41.000 tons of Iron ore concentrate headed for china and is estimated to shorten the distance by 1/3, compared to taking the more traditional southern route- The MV Nordic Barents is well equipped for such a journey and is categorized as an ice-class 1a ship- which is the highest conventional ice-class- additionally Russian Icebreakers will escort the shop as it makes it's way through the North East Passage
Source: The Barentsobserver
For more information about arctic shipping please visit the Arctic Portal Shipping Portlet