As more and more of the Arctic melts away, new trade lanes are opening up for the shipping industry in the northern part of the globe. Russia is one of the many countries looking to capitalise on the new passages.
That was underlined this week by the news that the Sevmorput, a 30-year-old Russian nuclear-powered container ship, will sail through Danish waters as part of its first journey through the Arctic seas from eastern Russia to Europe.
The Sevmorput, currently located just north of Japan, is scheduled to travel north of Siberia and around Scandinavia on its way to unloading some 5,000 tonnes of frozen fish in St Petersburg. As part of that voyage, it will sail through the Great Belt off Denmark sometime in late September.
Left for dead in Murmansk
If the journey goes well, it may very well become a permanent fixture by 2020, according to the Moscow Times.
“We have been talking for several years about the use of the Northern Sea Route for the shipment of goods to countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” wrote the authorities of Kamchatka region.
It is reportedly the first time that a civil nuclear-driven ship sails north around Siberia and Norway.
The Sevmorput, which can also function as an icebreaker, was actually due to be scrapped in Murmansk in 2008, but authorities renovated the ship in 2013 and it found its way to the high seas once again in 2015.
More recently, it has been used to transport supplies to Russia’s new military bases in the Arctic region.