January 7 - Hansa Heavy Lift (HHL) recently completed two safe voyages along the western boundary of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to deliver a 365-tonne heat exchanger from Fairless Hills, USA, and power generation equipment from Italy to Sabetta, Russia.

HHL New York and HHL Amazon, both of which hold Ice Class E3 (Finnish-Swedish Ice Class 1A), navigated through 0.7 m of ice in temperatures as low as - 19 °C to deliver the cargoes.

"When travelling in the Arctic region you are faced with extreme weather conditions, whereby it is of utmost importance to secure the correct permits and find reliable partners to work with," said Joerg Roehl, managing director and chief commercial officer at the Hamburg headquartered line. "The NSR is an increasingly important route and our use of it nearly doubled in the last year; however it takes careful preparation, as well as experience and the right equipment in order to succeed."

The NSR is only open for a four-month window before the passage freezes over, and HHL completed five voyages in the region during 2015. In October HHL Valparaiso completed a full transit of the NSR from east to west to deliver windmill equipment from China to Poland.