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HANSA HEAVY LIFT vessel sails open hatch through Northern Sea Route to deliver giant cranes


HANSA HEAVY LIFT has successfully transported the first-ever ship-to-shore (STS) cranes via the Northern Sea Route (NSR), relocating them from the port of St Petersburg to the port of Vostochny, spanning both the European and Far East regions of Russia.


HHL Valparaiso is the first vessel to sail open hatch through the Northern Sea Route, which is covered by thick ice for most of the year and has a limited window of about two months open to cargo voyages.


This allowed the two cranes, each weighing 820 tonnes and measuring 61 metres in height and 92 metres in width, to be shipped partially above and below deck.


"The Northern Sea Route was the only viable option to complete this voyage in the required timeframe," said Mr Gleb Faldin, Commercial Manager, HANSA HEAVY LIFT.


"In the Arctic there is no room for mistakes. During the passage, the vessel has limited connection and only a few points of shelter.


"It is important to understand the legal framework to navigate the NSR, to plan carefully, to be prepared for the unexpected, and, most importantly, to have the right team on board the vessel and in the office."


HHL Valparaiso travelled from Qingdao, China to St Petersburg via the NSR to load the cranes, and then went back through the NSR a second time to complete the mission, which was accomplished in record time.


Crews had only a few weeks to complete the voyage, as the cargo was loaded in October and had to be delivered to its destination by late November before the route completely froze over, said a release.


"The Northern Sea Route is an important alternative that can save weeks from a voyage, but to be successful you need careful planning and engineering, the right equipment, capable vessels, and experienced crews," said Mr Heinrich Nagrelli, Project & Transport Engineer, HANSA HEAVY LIFT.


All HANSA HEAVY LIFT vessels can travel along sea routes with an ice thickness of up to 0.8 metres. HANSA HEAVY LIFT specialises in heavy lift, super heavy lift and project cargo, with an increasing focus on transport and installation (T&I) in the subsea oil and gas markets, as well as the offshore windfarm sector, the release pointed out.


Source: Exim News Service - Hamburg, Jan. 10


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