Nuclear container ship «Sevmorput» sets course for new Arctic gas field
The 260 meter long, 33980 tons deadweight «Sevmorput» this week sailed from Murmansk to Arkhangelsk where it is to pick up more than 17,000 tons of construction goods.
In mid-March, the ship will set further course for the ice-covered gulf of Ob, where it will unload its cargo directly on the ice of the frozen bay.
It is all destined to the development of the Utrenneye natural gas field and adjacent seaport on Gydan Peninsula, ship owner Rosatomflot informs.
A second shipment to Gydan is scheduled later this year.
«Rosatomflot is an active participant in the large-scale Arctic hydrocarbon projects,» Atomflot General Director Mustafa Kashka says. «The usage of nuclear-powered container ship «Sevmorput» in the development of the Arctic LNG 2 shows that our successful work experiences from the Arctic is much needed,» he underlines.
The Sevmorput was a unique contribution to the Soviet fleet of civilian nuclear vessels when it entered service in 1988. It is today the only nuclear-powered container ship in the world.
In addition to the shipments to Gydan, the «Sevmorput» will in 2019 also engage in shipment of frozen fish along the Northern Sea Route.
The Russian Fisheries Agency Rosrybolovstvo says that the ship twice this year is scheduled to load fish in Kamchatka and sail along the Arctic route to Arkhangelsk and St.Petersburg.
«The development of transportation along the NSR allows us to cut time schedules and the costs for the delivery of the goods will be lower than with railway or truck transport,» says Fisheries Agency representative Petr Savchuk.
The ship is now reported to be able to carry about 200 refrigerator containers of the type ISO-40.
The “Sevmorput” was built in the period 1984-1988. In 1992-2006 she was used for transportation to ports along the Northern Sea Route. Later she was docked at the Atomflot base in Murmansk for years without assignments, and Rosatom was preparing to turn the ship into scrap metal.
In 2013 it was announced that “Sevmorput” would be renovated and put into service again. In early 2016, the ship underwent sailing tests in the Barents Sea
Additional upgrades of the ship were started in 2018, and these works are to be completed by 30th June this year, Rosrybolovstvo informs.
The «Sevmorput», when fully loaded, has a draft of 11,8 meters which is normally too much for the shallow port areas of Arkhangelsk. The sea port of Ekonomia in the Northern Dvina river delta has until now allowed sailing with ships with drafts no more than 9,2 meters.
Dredging in the river delta has been conducted over the last years. But the ship is unlikely to be fully loaded in Arkhangelsk, flot.com reports.