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Breakbulk April 2017

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24 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE APRIL 2017 By Joseph Bonney OPEN FOR BUSINESS A new Delaware River terminal at Paulsboro welcomes its first steel shipment STEEL SUPPLIER NMLK USA has begun moving regular shipments of semi-finished slabs through the new Paulsboro Marine Terminal, located across the Dela- ware River from Philadelphia International Airport. The breakbulk ship Doric Warrior discharged 55,000 tons of slabs at the terminal in early March, marking the start of planned regular shipments through the new port developed by South Jersey Port Corp. NMLK USA plans to bring two ships a month to Paulsboro through the rest of 2017, and to increase a federal institution set up to support the development of the route, said the volume of Northern Sea Route shipments increased 35 percent last year, to 7.3 million tons. Shipments of oil and oil products rose fourfold to 3.5 million tons. Coal and iron ore, steel, and paper pulp were other major commodities shipped on the route. Russia's tra nspor t m i n istr y is aiming for an increase in total volume to 65 million tons by 2020. Officials see development of the Nor ther n Sea Route a s pa r t of Russia's national security strategy and as a commercial route. Russian-flag vessels made up the largest group of carriers using the route last year. Cargo was shipped between destinations in Russia and China, Japan, Finland, Norway, Swe- den, and Germany. Average passage time for gen- eral cargo vessels between Cape Dezhnev on the Bering Sea, the easternmost point of Asia, and Cape Zhelaniya on the Kara Sea averaged 12.75 days. Development of Russian Arctic hydrocarbon projects is the main driver behind current growth in volumes. Eleven large oil and gas projects and four coal projects are operational or in development, Mikhail Grigoryev of the Russian Academy of Sciences told a recent conference in Moscow. "Extensive transport infrastruc- ture is needed for these projects, including icebreakers, transport and support vessels, and port tugs. Development of marine infrastruc- ture is needed because they are located far from all oil and gas pipe- lines and railways," Grigoryev said. Bjor n Gu n n a r s son of Nord University in Norway, said energy projects could drive NSR volumes to 100 million tons by 2030, with most of the cargo transported westward from the Yamal, Gydan, and Taymyr peninsulas to Europe and through the Suez Canal to Asia. Plans to develop commercial shipping business between Asia and Europe on the route will be more challenging to achieve because of the difficulty in ensuring predict - ability and punctuality of cargo transport. Average ice thickness of more than 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) in the seven months from December to June makes voyages at that time more dif- ficult and dangerous than the rest of the year. Other hurdles include the limited number of ice-class vessels, and their comparatively small size. A monster nuclea r-powered icebreaker has been commissioned for deployment on the NSR in 2019. Russia is the only country to build a nd oper a t e nucle a r- power e d icebreakers. The new 173-meter- long, 33,000-ton Arktika-class vessel will be its fifth in operation. Construction of an even larger class of nuclear-powered icebreak- ers, the Lider-class, is expected to begin in 2019, accord ing to state-owned shipbuilder United Shipbuilding Corp. These vessels will be up to 200 meters long and 50 meters wide, and will be able to sail through ice at 13 knots and escort ships with capacities of more than 13,000 deadweight tons. l Contact Turloch Mooney at and follow him on Twitter: @TurlochMooney. RUSSIA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD TO BUILD AND OPERATE NUCLEAR-POWERED ICEBREAKERS.

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