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Asia Pacific Journal of Marine Science&Education

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Russia – the Icebreakers Nation

February-March, 2015

"Victor Chernomyrdin" To Be Launched Soon

The Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg is planning to complete the construction of the world's largest and most powerful conventionally powered icebreaker "Viktor Chernomyrdin" this autumn.

The new icebreaker is designed to operate in the waters off the coast of Taimyr and Yamal Peninsula in Western sector of Russian Arctic. The ship is powered with 25 MWt diesel – electric plant that is comparable with nuclear powered icebreakers "Taimyr" and "Vaigach". In addition, the new ship will be the most agile and cost-effective icebreaker on the planet.

The history of construction of "Viktor Chernomyrdin" was not easy. The works on the ship's hull started in October 2012 but soon they were forcibly stopped due to designers' mistake. After it was corrected the works resumed. It is expected that the ship will be launched by the end of this year.

Immediately after the launching ceremony of "Viktor Chernomyrdin" the construction of another icebreaker will be started on the same site. This time it will be the world's largest and most powerful nuclear powered vessel.

Reactor for Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker "Arktika"

According to the press service of "Atomenergomash" (Engineering Division of the state corporation "Rosatom") the assembly of the reactor unit for nuclear icebreaker "Arktika" ("Arctic"; model LC-60) has started at Podolsk factory near Moscow.

Designed for "Arktika" - class new generation of multi-purpose icebreakers, a two-reactor module RHYTHM-200 has a maximum heat output of 175 MWt. The unit has an extended service life, high power utilization ratio, a prolonged period of continuous operation, the minimum number of core replacement cycles. Additionally, RHYTHM-200 is more efficient and can be transported by the railway fully assembled.

The LC-60 "Arktika" has a variable draft hull design and can be used equally effectively in Arctic Seas and at the mouths of polar rivers. It is planned that the icebreaker will operate in the Western sector of the Arctic: the Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas, as well as in shallow waters of the mouths of the Yenisei and Ob rivers.

Singapore decline: China launches construction of alternative channel to the Indian Ocean

February 10, 2015
IMPERIA, Internet Portal

China continues to create an alternative to the "American" global transport system. After participating in the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal China began to discuss with Thailand building alternative waterway from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean across the Kra Isthmus in southern.

It would shorten the way from Southeast Asia to Europe and Africa by 1000-1200 km and thus save shipment time by 48-64 hours (depending on the route). Moreover, it will reduce fuel consumption and decrease freight rates and the cost of oil barrel for importers.

The construction and commencement of operation of the channel will decrease the dominant transit value of Singapore port. Singapore, with ethnic Chinese comprising 70% of its population, is a kind of center point for many Chinese communities controlling finances, trade and industry in the South-East Asian countries.

Construction of the channel, undermining transit monopoly of Singapore, in fact will mark appearance of Chinese mainland companies in the "fiefdom" of overseas Chinese – huaqiaos. The channel will also be beneficial for the Thai military, which will be able to transfer forces from the east to the western coast of their country.

According to the Thai experts' estimates, about 140 thousand ships will sail through the Strait of Malacca by 2025. Nearly one third of marine transportation of oil and one-quarter of the world's cargo transportation is concentrated here. At the same time, the maximum capacity of the Strait is about 122 thousand.

Potential risks of navigation in the Straits of Malacca are reduced visibility (up to 200 meters), risk of collisions, piracy and terrorism.

A pre-feasibility study by Beijing University of International Economics and Business, as well as Thailand's National Committee for the Kra Canal Project has estimated that it would cost about US$20-25 billion to build a channel with 26 meters in depth and less than 100 kilometers in length. Chinese investors can start participating in the project of Thai Canal as because an agreement was signed recently on financing construction of the Trans-Asian Railway running through the countries of Southeast Asia, and connecting South China and Singapore.

IMO agreed on new training requirements for seafarers in Arctic

February 11, 2015
Port News

According to the press service of Russian Trade Union of Seamen, the IMO agreed on training requirements for seafarers navigating Arctic waters. The requirements are to enhance safety of navigation in polar areas and to ensure that the crew is prepared for the special conditions.

The training requirements include two training levels for the crew: a basic level and a more advanced level.

Now the masters and navigating officers must complete special training in order to navigate ships in ice safely. One of the requirements is that the seafarers must acquire an improved understanding of the limitations to the crew, ship and the equipment applicable when operating in cold and desolate areas, with poor or no infrastructure. It means that in case of accidents on ship or environment pollution the assistance can be delayed, so the crew members should be extremely careful and have special training in order to cope with the emergency situation.

New requirements will be incorporated in the STCW Convention, which is the international set of rules regulating the overall education and training requirements for seafarers.

They are expected to enter into force at the turn of the year 2018, but the countries are urged to act faster so that the regulations can become effective when the Polar Code enters into force in January 2017.

"Summa" group will construct in Primorye a coal terminal that meets all environmental standards

February 10, 2015
Information agency "Vostok Rossii"

"Summa" will be able to start construction works on a new coal terminal at the port of Vostochny, Primorye Region, in the spring of 2015. Universal handling complex "North" is planned to be constructed in three years near Cape Petrovsky. More than 50 kilometers of railway tracks, 11 bridges and overpasses, 4 mooring facilities with a total length of 900 meters are to be built at this place. Total funding from the Federal budget will be 23.2 billion roubles. Moreover, nearly 13 billion roubles will be invested by "Summa". After placing into operation the new terminal will process at the first stage up to 6 million tons of coal per year, since 2020 – 12 million tons per year and after reaching its design capacity in 2025 – 20 million tons per year.

As well terminal will meet all modern environmental standards, that is very important for Primorye Region (taking into account the conflict around coal terminal in the Bay of Sukhodol): the coal carriages will be discharged inside enclosed spaces; the terminal works will be performed using additional dust suppression technology.

Among the measures taken on the terminal for protection of environment: hydropyridine (misting), spot filters in pouring stations, additional water cannons to hydrate coal and mobile snow guns that will be used in the winter. In addition, along the conveyor racks special protective fencing will be installed.

"Summa" Group is a diversified Russian private holding with significant investments in port logistics, engineering, construction, telecommunications and the oil and gas sectors. The main office is in Moscow. The group of companies, which are present in about 40 regions of Russia and abroad, includes as a whole more than 10 thousand of working personnel.

Magadan coast

February 10, 2015
Magadan Region press-service

As it is reported, Russian state oil company "Rosneft" is planning to hold in 2016 the first drilling on the shelf near Magadan coast.

Currently the planned geotechnical surveys within the sites "Magadan 1", "Magadan2" , "Magadan3" are conducted on schedule. It is expected that in a short time "Rosneft" will get license for the site "Magadan4"

At present time "Rosneft" in Magadan actively performs working in logistics and packaging services for maintenance of floating offshore platforms as well as works concerning waste disposal in the process of exploration drilling.

© Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, NPO «Asia-Pacific Journal of Marine Science&Education. Editors Board».