Alaska Prepares for Arctic Traffic
By Jim Shaw
The sailing of the bulk carrier Nordic Orion through the Northwest Passage this past September served notice that the waters off Alaska and northern Canada are no longer just the preserve of fishermen, oil drillers and adventurers. Operated by Denmark’s Nordic Bulk Carriers, the 225-meter-long ice-strengthened ship carried 73,500 tons of coal from Vancouver, Canada to Pori, Finland, arriving there in early October. In the process it became the first vessel in history to carry a full commercial cargo through the passage.
As pointed out in the September issue of Pacific Maritime Magazine (see Access Project Cargo for Resource Extraction) the Northwest Passage is not expected to become a regular commercial sea route but it may host more commercial ships each season, the result of shrinking ice coverage… (More)