Gastanker the "Ob River" tookthe cargo aboard at Melkøya, Finnmark County, on 7 November. The ship is now lying outsideone of Japan’s major LNG terminals in Japanwaiting to unload 134,738 cubicmetres of liquefied natural gas.
A subsidiary of giant Russiancompany Gazprom owns the cargo.
“The journey went according to plan,” says Tony Lauritzen in Greek shippingcompany Dynagen. He adds thatDynagen had prepared for the trans-Arctic Ocean voyage for more than a year.“Theship firstdid a test run without cargo onboard along the same route,but in the opposite direction from Japanover the Arctic Ocean,” he says by phone fromAthens.
Mr Lauritzenalso explains that two Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers accompanied the whole trip along the Northern Sea Route.
“Theice wasn’t so thick, but oftenaround 40 centimetres. We’restill required to use icebreakers. This is a particularly important safety measure. Icebreakers are more than just icebreakers.They’re escort and rescue vessels with many support functions, such as for towing and as ahospital ship,” says Mr Lauritzen.
He estimates the sailingseason in the north lasts from the very end of July to the firsthalf of November. Also from Aenergy: