As if symbolizing the purity of intentions for the Arctic, the Chinese shipping company COSCO has sent four vessels freighted with wind power equipment along the Northern Sea Route.
The ice situation was difficult, as Rosatomflot characterizes the icebreaker route of Chinese ships along the Arctic route. In August, cargo ships Tian You, Tian Jian, Tian Hui and Tian En passed through it from east to west. At least two of them were freighted with wind power equipment.
Equipment for the generation of green energy was delivered to European buyers.
On September 5, Tian En arrived in Rouen, France. This sailing has become not only the first in the Arctic for the ship herself, but also the first transit sailing along the NSR between China and France, according to Mer et Marine. On board, there were 63 pieces of equipment weighing up to 70 tons, including 21 blades for wind turbines.
The most difficult part of the route fell on the East Siberian Sea and the Vilkitsky Strait, where the ice sheet reached 90 percent, Rosatom reports. The vessels were accompanied by nuclear-powered icebreakers “Taimyr” and “Vaigach”.
A series of Chinese transit sailing along the Northern Sea Route testifies to the interest of Chinese companies in the commercial use of the route, Rosatom notes.
Into 2019, even more transit sailings of Chinese state companies are planned, the company said.
Russia has serious plans for an Arctic shipping route that connects Asia and Europe. But transit sailing on it was not enough. In 2016, only 19 vessels with 214,400 tons of cargo passed through the Bering Strait to the Barents Sea. This was still more than that of 2015 volumes, when the volume of transit cargo on the Northern Sea Route amounted to only 40 thousand tons.
In 2017, the volume of transit sailings along the route was slightly less than one million tons.
While four Chinese ships have already reached European ports, their classmate Tian Qi is still making its way into the waters of the Arctic. According to the Administration of the Northern Sea Route, as of September 6, she was the only Chinese ship in its water area.
Source: The Barents Observer