Two of HANSA HEAVY LIFT’s P2-Class vessels have successfully navigated the Northern Sea Route before its winter closure this month.
HHL Lagos and HHL Hong Kong, both E3 ice-class vessels equivalent to Russian L1, safely delivered infrastructure cargo and large tugs from the Russian Baltic to the Far East using the Route, which will reopen in June. Both vessels are equipped with two 700 tonnes cranes, combinable to 1400 tonnes.
This is the first time a P-Type vessel has made a journey via the Northern Sea Route.
“Russia remains an important and developing market for us,” said Joerg Roehl, Chief Commercial Officer at HANSA HEAVY LIFT GmbH. “We are proud of our recent achievements there, especially with regards to the upcoming Yamal LNG Project. We want our customers to know that we have the equipment and the experience to deliver heavy lift cargo to and from remote areas, and, when needed, through the Northern
Sea Route. Despite difficult weather conditions for part of the journey, the Northern Sea Route saved us almost two weeks’ steaming time, which meant we could support our customers with their delivery schedules.”
HHL Hong Kong loaded four assembled cranes, each weighing 400 tonnes, and measuring 56 meters high at Ust Luga, Russia, on October 16th.
Ten days later HHL Lagos loaded six tug boats, weighing a maximum 700 tonnes, at the Port of St. Petersburg, Russia.
“From the very beginning of this complicated project we were aware that the HHL Hong Kong would only have two options to deliver this cargo to its final destination. The Suez Canal was not a solution because of air draft limitations. Sending the vessel around the Cape of Good Hope was possible, but not commercially viable. After careful planning and obtaining all the necessary permits from the Russian
Federation, we decided to send the vessel via the Northern Sea Route, which guaranteed the timely delivery of the cargo. This voyage was undertaken under Russian cabotage waiver as the Russian fleet
does not have vessels of this type,” said Joerg Roehl.
The HHL Lagos, booked for a similar route, was also sent via the Northern Sea Route to save bunkers, ensure shorter transit times, and to avoid the high risk area around the Gulf of Aden.
The HHL Hong Kong entered the Kara Sea and started its transit on 25th of October following the Russian ice breakers Yamal and Taymyr, at a speed of eight to ten knots due to the harsh weather conditions with temperatures of -35C and strong winds.
HHL Lagos arrived at the Kara Sea and followed the Russian ice breaker Yamal on the 4th of November.
The HHL Lagos enjoyed good weather conditions and was able to pass the Northern Sea Route faster than her sister vessel, arriving at her final destination just two days after the HHL HONG KONG. HHL Lagos was the last vessel to use the Route before its winter closure.
Careful preparation, experience and professional voyage management were key to the successful completion of both voyages.
HANSA HEAVY LIFT worked closely with Russian Northern Sea Route Operator ROSATOMFLOT who provided a very professional and reliable service, both from their headquarters, and at sea, where their ice breakers ensured the flawless execution of both sailings.
HANSA HEAVY LIFT operates a fleet of 24 vessels, including one on long-term charter, which are all on average three years old.