Neste Oil Corporation
30 September 2011 at 4 pm (EET)
Neste Oil ships operate successfully along the Northeast Passage
Two Neste Oil tankers successfully traversed the Northeast Passage between Murmansk and the Pacific Ocean in August and September this year. Only a few vessels including Neste Oil's ships have operated along the route this year. The first Neste Oil tanker to traverse the route was the MT Stena Poseidon, which carried a customer's cargo along the Northeast Passage and onwards to South Korea. She was followed by the MT Palva, which delivered a customer's cargo to a port in China.
The very challenging ice conditions along the route, which follows Russia's northern Arctic coastline, limit its use, and the route continues to be open to traffic for only a couple of months in the summer. Neste Oil's extensive maritime expertise, decades of experience in navigating in ice-bound waters, and fleet of ice-strengthened ships, one of the largest in the world, give the company a clear edge in shipping along the Northeast Passage.
"Neste Oil has a long history of taking on the challenges of the Northeast Passage," says Niko Ristikankare, Vice President of the company's Shipping & Terminals Unit. "The MT Uikku was the first Western commercial vessel to traverse the route back in 1997. Thanks to our Arctic expertise and our modern fleet, we are excellently placed to handle commercial operations along the Northeast Passage."
The Russian authorities require that all ships operating along the route are ice-classified and fitted with additional equipment, such as radios approved for use in Arctic areas and a spare propeller blade. Bunkers and provisions sufficient for 30 days at sea are also required because of the unpredictable nature of ice conditions along the route.
Potential to halve shipping times
The approx. 6,250 nautical miles or 11,500 kilometers covered by the Stena Poseidon and Palva from Murmansk to the Pacific took around 20 days at a speed of 13 knots. The alternative route through the Suez Canal is twice as long and takes twice as long as a result. Using the much shorter Northeast Passage offers both reduced fuel consumption and reduced overall emissions.
"Our journey from Murmansk to the Bering Strait took nine days, escorted by a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker and a local ice pilot," says Jari Leino, Captain of the Stena Poseidon. "We spotted ice along the route but were able to avoid the larger floes thanks to the open water conditions that prevailed this summer. All in all, it was a unique experience."
Neste Oil Corporation
Director, Corporate Communications
Further information: Vesa Penttilä, Senior Manager, Neste Oil Shipping, tel. +358 (0)50 458 4727
Related photos can be downloaded from: http://brandbank.nesteoil.com/?cart=100-aaeiadkadf&l=EN
Neste Oil in brief
Neste Oil Corporation is a refining and marketing company concentrating on low-emission, high-quality traffic fuels. The company produces a comprehensive range of major petroleum products and is the world's leading supplier of renewable diesel. The company had net sales of EUR 11.9 billion in 2010 and employs around 5,000 people. Neste Oil's share is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
Neste Oil has been selected into the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and is also featured in the Ethibel Excellence investment register. The company is included in The Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable corporations. Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) has ranked Neste Oil as the best performer in the oil & gas sector. Further information: www.nesteoil.com.
Neste Shipping in brief
Neste Shipping provides flexible maritime transport services for Neste Oil's feedstocks and products, and carries some 31 million t/a of crude oil, petroleum products, and chemicals. Operations are concentrated in the Baltic, the North Sea, and the North Atlantic. Neste Shipping operates a fleet of 22 vessels, with a combined tonnage of around 1 million dwt, all of which are classified according to the highest Finnish-Swedish ice class and feature a double hull.