The Arktika nuclear-powered icebreaker, the leading one in the series of nuclear-powered ships of project 22220, which are being created to provide year-round navigation on the Northern Sea Route and are already operating there, - took on its first convoy for assistance.
According to Atomflot, on December 18, at the western edge of the Kara Sea ice, the sea transports Yuri Arshenevsky, Polar King, Engineer Trubin and the diesel icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn stood in the corridor made by the Arktika in the ice and followed behind the icebreaker to the east. The passage to the port of destination Pevek, taking into account the ice conditions, will take about 20 days, according to calculations. On board transport ships there is cargo for companies that implement investment projects in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.
As the general director of FSUE Atomflot Mustafa Kashka noted, to reach the necessary agreements and urgently allocate an icebreaker to complete the delivery of vital cargo to Pevek, became possible due to business interaction between all participants of the process, including the ordering companies for the shipments in the Kara Sea, the Ministry of Eastern Development and Atomflot itself.
"The escort of the convoy in the eastern direction will be the first for the lead universal nuclear icebreaker Arktika," the head of Atomflot emphasized.
Let us remind that earlier on the Northern Sea Route, the Taimyr nuclear-powered icebreaker worked with ships requiring urgent icebreaker assistance. In the period from November 22 to December 6, 2021, it successfully escorted a convoy of ships (Kumpula, Vladimir Rusanov, Northern Project, RZK Constanta, Turukhan, Grigory Shelikhov and Mechanic Pustoshny) in the western direction.
On December 16, the Yamal nuclear icebreaker took over the PUGNAX module carrier, which was on its way from China to Murmansk. Cargo on board was modules for the construction of plants for the production of liquefied natural gas,
As explained to "RG" in "Atomflot", the nuclear icebreakers in service are involved and operate, as a rule, under long-term contractual obligations. And to remove the icebreaker in one place in order to urgently send it to another is very difficult, and sometimes it is not possible, if the necessary applications were not submitted in advance.
Due to the difficult ice situation for navigation, which has developed in the water area of the Northern Sea Route this autumn, an operational headquarters has been created and is operating at the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom under the leadership of Vyacheslav Ruksha, Deputy Director General - Head of the Northern Sea Route Directorate. To develop measures for collective response to the changing situation, the operational headquarters included representatives of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, the government of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, FSUE Atomflot, the United Shipbuilding Corporation and the largest commercial companies operating in the Arctic and Polar regions: NOVATEK, Norilsk Nickel, Gazpromneft, Gazpromneft Shipping, Rosneft.
Taking into account the opinions of all interested participants, a scheme was developed for the wiring to the port of Pevek of the "Yuri Arshenevsky", "Engineer Trubin" and "Polar King" motor ships. And the priority cargo for shipment was determined the day before at a working meeting at the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
Now the operational headquarters, together with the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, is considering the possibility of a second voyage. Its purpose and possible dates are linked with the expected commissioning of the Sibir nuclear-powered icebreaker, the next in the series after the leading Arktika.