Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers’ heavy lift, ice-class vessel Tian En, has crossed the Bering Strait to deliver wind turbine components from Lianyungang, China to ports in France, the Netherlands and Sweden.
“It is the shortest route linking northeast Asia and northern Europe, and more importantly, it's a safe one,” said Captain Chen Xiangwu.
When crossing the Bering Strait, the vessel’s electronic marine map identifies when the vessel might need Russian icebreakers along the route. Cosco Shipping added that it also keeps in regular contact with the Russian authorities to negotiate whether or when an icebreaker is necessary.
Calling at Haropa Ports’ port of Rouen, the ice-class vessel discharged 63 heavy lifts, weighing up to 70 tons (63.5 tonnes), including 21 wind turbine blades, measuring 53 m in length. According to Haropa, the unloading operations were carried out by RMS Manutention, a subsidiary of Katoen Natie, on behalf of Sealogis.
“The Polar Silk Road is turning into a golden route,” said Zhang Li, deputy general manager of Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers, adding that the shipping line has paid close attention to avoid pollution along the waterway.
“We ask our crew to strictly adhere to related international conventions,” Zhang said. “The wastes on the ship are deliberately sorted and handled, so that we can help build a green Polar Silk Road.”