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ICE-BREAKING LNG CARRIER MAKES FIRST CALL AT JAPANESE TERMINAL

Monday, July 27, 2020 

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has announced that the Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier 'Vladimir Rusanov', which is jointly owned and operated by MOL and COSCO Shipping Corporation for the Yamal LNG project, has made its first call at the LNG Terminal in Ohgishima, located inside Tokyo Bay in Japan, marking the first time an Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier has called at Japan.

The voyage began at the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta port with its LNG cargo for Japan. The ship sailed eastwards along the Northern Sea Route via the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the East Bering Sea, the Chukchi sea, and the Bering Strait. Although the ice in the Northern Sea Route generally melts in the period from the end of June to the beginning of July, during the time the vessel was navigating this region some ice remained, particularly in the East Bering Sea. The vessel either avoided sailing through or conducted ice-breaking navigation in areas where ice remained, which resulted in about 7 days (15 knots average navigation speed) navigation through the Northern Sea Route from Sabetta port to the Bering strait.

MOL says that transportation from the Russian Arctic through the Northern Sea Route contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the required navigation distance is 65% shorter than via the Suez Canal. Additionally, energy transportation through the Northern Sea Route enables Asian countries, including Japan who relies on natural energy imports, to develop a new energy supply route.

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