Sovcomflot calls for substandard ships to be barred from the Northern Sea Route

Top Russian owner Sovcomflot has called for the Russian government to continue its drive to improve navigational safety measures on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and for a ban on substandard ships and crews sailing in the environmentally sensitive region. The move follows significant shipping traffic growth along the NSR and further projected growth.

Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Sergey Frank, Sovcomflot’s president and CEO earlier this week with the owner stressing the necessity of taking additional measures to ensure navigation safety along the NSR given the significant growth of freight traffic in that area.

In 2018, just the two energy projects in the Gulf of Ob (Novy Port and Yamal LNG), both served by Sovcomflot vessels, are expected to generate around 11.5m tonnes of freight alone, almost doubling the Soviet-era NSR peak record of 6.6m tonnes in 1987.

Sovcomflot has also hinted at ordering a series of ice class tankers on home soil in the coming months.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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