On February 9, from the port of Pevek, the lead universal nuclear icebreaker Arktika FSUE "Atomflot" began to assist the "Inzhener Trubin" and "Polar King" motor ships. For the first time, the project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker will take part in the operation to assist the caravan from east to west. Traditionally, in this sector of the Arctic, pilotage of ships was completed in November. The nuclear icebreaker of Rosatomflot will be assisted by the diesel-electric icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn.
“The escort of the convoy will end at the western edge of the ice of the Kara Sea,” said Leonid Irlitsa, first deputy general director of FSUE Atomflot. From the east, Arktika will assist ships through the entire water area of the Northern Sea Route. During the passage, the captain of the icebreaker will receive recommendations from the Marine Operations Headquarters of FSUE Atomflot. This unique experience for us will be studied by navigators and will become the basis for further planning of work during the transition to regular year-round piloting in the Northern Sea Route.”
The Arktika nuclear-powered icebreaker is operating under a contract for assistance of a convoy of vessels with cargo to implement a large-scale investment project for the development of the Baimskaya ore zone in the priority development area of Chukotka.
“Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers provide Russian leadership in the Arctic. The implementation of the Baimskaya copper project will also contribute to the further development of the Northern Sea Route, the development of the deposit will increase cargo traffic by 2 million tons. As part of the project, a year-round port, a highway, and new power lines will be built in Chukotka. From 2027, a mining and processing plant with a total capacity of 70 million tons of ore per year will be launched. The construction of the Baimsky GOK is included in the strategy for the social and economic development of the Far East,” said Georgy Fotin, executive director of GDK Baimskaya LLC.
At the moment, harsh ice conditions are observed in the eastern region of the Northern Sea Route. The thickness of the ice reaches two meters in some places.
“According to their characteristics, the universal nuclear-powered icebreakers are superior to the nuclear-powered ships of previous projects,” said Vasily Gubkin, captain of the Arktika GUAL. Power, maneuverability, ice-breaking ability, the ability to change draft - these are the key advantages. The captains of the ships that we conducted confirm that it is much more convenient to follow a universal nuclear-powered icebreaker. The channel behind the icebreaker is wide, straight and cleaner, which means that navigation behind the nuclear-powered ship in ice conditions is safer.”
It is planned that Arktika will complete the convoy assistance by the end of February.
Source: FSUE Atomflot Communications Department