Oldendorff navigates Northern Sea Route

20th September 2016


Two of our ice class 1C Kamsarmax vessels (M/V Georg & Gretke Oldendorff, 81,500 tdw with side mounted cranes) recently completed incident free voyages on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) above Russia.

Both vessels loaded coal and departed Vancouver in August 2016 about 10 days apart, and proceeded through the Bering Strait and Bering Sea. Upon reaching the icy Laptev Sea they were required to follow a Russian nuclear ice breaker however heavy fog was more of an issue for safe navigation than ice. Fog caused a few days of delay but almost no ice was encountered on the voyages.

After exiting the Arctic passage, the “Gretke Oldendorff” sailed into the northern Baltic Sea to discharge her coal cargo into barges offshore Raahe, Finland. The discharge was performed using the vessels’ side mounted cranes and grabs at an average discharge rate of 25,000 mt per day. The “Georg Oldendorff”  is also scheduled to discharged her coal cargo into barges offshore Raahe, Finland commencing 23rd September.

Oldendorff has recently made a significant investment in building a fleet of “eco” ships. We take our responsibility for protecting the environment very seriously, with an active “Green Ships” program. In preparing for these NSR voyages, we took all precautions to protect the pristine Arctic environment, voluntarily complying with Polar Code which is only obligatory from January  2017.

By taking the NSR instead of the traditional Panama Canal passage for this voyage, the steaming time was reduced by 12 days per vessel. This 24 day steaming reduction on the two vessels translates into a 504 mt decrease in fuel consumption and a consequential reduction in Co2 emissions of 1,325 mt. We are constantly looking for ways to minimize our carbon footprint and maintain the quality of our shipping services.