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Breakbulk April 2017

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22 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE APRIL 2017 RUSSIA PLANS TO develop a port and trade hub in its far eastern Kamchatka region to serve project cargo and other shipments on the Northern Sea Route linking the Bering and Kara seas. The hub is planned for the Kamchatka town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It will include terminals for refrigerated, dry, and general cargo-handling; warehouses; a ship repair yard; passenger terminal; and other supporting facilities. The new infrastructure is expected to be in place by 2021, Kamchatka's head of development, Nikolai Pegin, told Russian media. The port will handle cargo shipped between Russia and Asia and Europe. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was one of five Russian Far East ports given free port status last year to support their develop- ment as maritime trade centers. As the Arctic ice cap has receded, Rus- sia has promoted the Northern Sea Route as a route for shipments to and from its Far East region. Parts of the route are ice- free for just two months a year, but the melting ice cap is making the route more viable for regular navigation. Ca r r ier s i nclud i ng Ha nsa Heav y Lift and ZPMC Red Box have used the Northern Sea Route for deliveries of construction project components to the $27 billion Yamal liquefied natural gas plant in northern Siberia. The Moscow-based NSR Administration, By Turloch Mooney RUSSIA PLANS PORT FOR NORTHERN SEA ROUTE Melting ice cap makes the Arctic shortcut more viable for project cargo carriers client has a navigable waterway at its site or nearby, Berard said. Recently, he said, a customer assumed that an oversize module transferred from ship to barge at New Orleans would require construction of a special roll-on, roll-off dock across a Mississippi River levee to the plant site near Baton Rouge and a precisely timed move to match fluctuating river levels. Berard's planners identified an alter- native route using a Gulf Intracoastal Waterway site where water levels are controlled by locks, and worked several months to obtain permits for a short haul on a congested highway from the water- way to the plant. The gestation period for oversize loads can range from a few days for a 100,000- pound flatbed load to several months for a more complicated job requiring numerous permits from utilities and government agencies. Though permitting agencies generally have become easier to deal with, Berard said heavy-haul companies worry about regulations such as federal hours-of- service regulations that were designed to minimize fatigue of long-haul truck drivers. "We fully see the need for alert drivers, but it may make it a little harder for us," Berard said. Pulling over for a required rest stop isn't easy for a driver hauling a 20-foot-wide, 20-foot-high module through multiple police and utility jurisdictions with limited time slots for oversize moves. During the last decade or so, there's been a strong trend toward larger pre- fabricated modules for construction projects. Companies find it more efficient to build a module off site than to assemble it from scratch in the middle of a refinery or chemical plant. Heavy haulers must figure out how to squeeze these increasingly large modules into tight spaces at the plant where clearance may be measured in fractions of an inch. Berard said it's a challenge, but that it's a natural progression, and that he's not complaining. "The better we get at moving big pieces, the bigger modules the customers want to build," he said. "We're seeing more and more of that, which is great." l Contact Joseph Bonney at and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney. Grinchenkova Anzhela / The world's first nuclear-powered icebreaker "Lenin."

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