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Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 16 Jul 2020, 11:56:12

Well ships can certainly be built to an ice proof standard if ice breaker assistance is available. The question is how much extra does the heavier construction and the ice breaker service cost and will that out weigh the time and fuel savings apposed to going by the Suez canal? I could see convoys of ships in line following a big ice breaker providing backup assistance to each other. I would not think winter passages will ever be desirable just from the fact the whole voyage will be conducted in the dark.
It will be interesting to see if the Russians can build this up to 1000 full crossings per summer.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 16 Jul 2020, 17:33:43

vtsnowedin wrote:Well ships can certainly be built to an ice proof standard if ice breaker assistance is available. The question is how much extra does the heavier construction and the ice breaker service cost and will that out weigh the time and fuel savings apposed to going by the Suez canal? I could see convoys of ships in line following a big ice breaker providing backup assistance to each other. I would not think winter passages will ever be desirable just from the fact the whole voyage will be conducted in the dark.
It will be interesting to see if the Russians can build this up to 1000 full crossings per summer.


According to this pdf https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Est ... _264121577
the construction premium for building an ice capable merchant ship ranges from 10% to 120%

It looks like a good average would be 30-35% which is not much amortized over a 40 year service life. Labor is the largest cost for shipping companies and cutting as much as 40% off of transit time can add up to big savings in a short time frame. I suspect that even if the cost was 120% on construction if you could cut labor costs even 20% every journey it wouldn't take many years to pay off the difference. After that the shorter trip/lower labor costs would be all profits.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby sparky » Thu 16 Jul 2020, 23:30:21

.
To be fair to juan , a ship could use the north East passage all year around ...if ice-proof and following in the wake of a big icebreaker
as for a pamamax sized general container ship , the window is , as of today ,way more restricted
for a variety of reasons , most strictly commercial
as for extending the window , it's not that it's impossible but it's just not practical

on the North pole ice , the whole ice is rotating from West to East , this is due to floating free while the Earth is rotating ,
the ice pack is dragged along but lag behind ,

In 1893, Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen of Norway deliberately froze his wooden ship, the Fram, into the drifting sea ice north of Siberia. His rationale: Rather than fighting the ice, which had thwarted previous efforts to reach the North Pole, he’d allow the ice itself to carry him close to his goal. His polar bid failed, but 3 years later the wandering pack had carried the Fram some 2000 kilometers across the Arctic to the open North Atlantic Ocean, making Nansen an international hero.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 00:46:31

So, I went over sparky's links and I learnt a lot, but nothing that contradicts my claims or those of the article I linked to, and several others I've read on the subject in the last couple of years. His links are from papers published from 2014 to 2017, and deal mostly with non ice capable shipping, the environmental impacts of Arctic shipping, and other issues connected to the NSR, but do not contradict my claim.

Much has changed in the last few years in the NSR, since Russia has been investing a large amount of resources in developing its Arctic infrastructure and fleets. The upgrades in deep sea ports, nuclear icebreakers, and ice capable ships, including LNG powered ones, in the last three to six years have been constant and exponential. Russia is capable today of shipping oil, LNG, and other cargo, including coal and containers, along the NSR using its nuclear icebreaker fleet, and ice capable shipping fleet to both Europe and Asia year round, and it is already doing so. The volume and value of this shipping is growing every year, and can be expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. The ice capable shipping fleet and nuclear icebreaker fleet are growing every year and increasing their performance and capabilities, while lowering their operating costs. The newer nuclear icebreakers capable of sailing through 4.3 meters thick ice will be capable of sailing everywhere in the Arctic Ocean all year round. Russian Arctic ports are constantly improving their number, size, capabilities, and services, too. As pointed out above by another person, these investments are being made now and will provide returns for decades to come.

The NSR will become increasingly important as Russia continues developing it and increasing resource extraction in the area, ice continues to melt and lose thickness, and the melting season is extended because of Global Warming and Climate Change. The route is significantly shorter than going through the Suez Canal for a lot of the trade between Asia and Europe. It also offers an advantage for products that require refrigerating or freezing. Sailing in the dark is not an issue. Ships have been sailing in the dark half the time for thousands of years during nighttime. Modern ships have electricity and sail using satellite navigation, sonar, radar, radios, spotlights, and other instruments.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 10:07:58

JuanP wrote: Sailing in the dark is not an issue. Ships have been sailing in the dark half the time for thousands of years during nighttime. Modern ships have electricity and sail using satellite navigation, sonar, radar, radios, spotlights, and other instruments.

Navigation is not the problem. You have the winter weather with howling winds or freezing fogs that builds ice up on decks that has to be removed and the constant darkness wears on the minds of the crews. A summer crossing will be more attractive and most certainly cheaper and those slots will fill up before anyone will choose to cross in winter without some time sensitive reason putting a premium on doing it then.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby sparky » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 12:15:01

.
Certainly , the Polar melt is ongoing and Russia has invested into the practicability of the North East passage
China is very interested , it would free them from the US Navy control over the sea routes to the South

since the near totality of the route is in Russian waters interfering with it would be a very serious matter
The old Soviets have put a lot of effort into Ice Breakers
their fleet is considerable while the US has largely neglected them
by the way nuclear power for long distance Ice breakers is the only practical way of doing it
going through ice create an monstrous energy requirement ,
it's OK sort of for harbors and such
a trip of hundred of nautical miles plowing through two feet of ice would cost a fortune in fuel alone

thing are changing and one could expect more development , last month the US Navy for the first time since yonks
had military maneuver in the Barents sea , just to cheese of the Russians

Mike Pompeo actually came at the last Arctic council...... https://arctic-council.org/en/
and coolly affirmed that if the North East passage was used it should be an international seaway and it would void Russia claim to territorial waters , even the Norwegians and Canadians were not amused
https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arcti ... inisterial
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 12:37:50

since the near totality of the route is in Russian waters interfering with it would be a very serious matter

One good missile launcher on Sarah Palin's porch could shut down the exit through the Bering straight. :)
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 15:36:32

vtsnowedin wrote:
since the near totality of the route is in Russian waters interfering with it would be a very serious matter

One good missile launcher on Sarah Palin's porch could shut down the exit through the Bering straight. :)


Or American politicians could pull their heads back out where the sun shines half the time from their current position and try to develop and take advantage of the Arctic route passing through Canadian waters.

IMO the USA has been woefully lacking in intelligent leadership on this issue and many others for decades. IMO Eisenhower was the last President who looked at infrastructure as anything other than a way to buy votes for key congressional districts. Alaska and the Arctic in general never even rise to political notice in America because the state has the lowest population of voters and therefore the least influence in the House of Representatives.

If the USA were to develop a good port on the Arctic coast of Alaska for emergency services with a coast guard base and a few large icebreakers and encourage Canada to build one or two more on their Arctic coast the Americas could compete head to head with the Russians for ship traffic crossing from Europe to Asia via the Arctic Ocean. Yet such a development plan requires leadership and looking to the benefit of all Canadians and Americans instead of just one faction or another in the political circus, so it doesn't even get a mention, let alone a serious debate.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 15:57:50

Tanada wrote:
Or American politicians could pull their heads back out where the sun shines half the time from their current position and try to develop and take advantage of the Arctic route passing through Canadian waters.

One challenge is that Canada does NOT recognize the North West passage through the Canadian arctic as being an international waterway. Of course the US government has the opposite viewpoint.


Tanada wrote:IMO the USA has been woefully lacking in intelligent leadership on this issue and many others for decades. IMO Eisenhower was the last President who looked at infrastructure as anything other than a way to buy votes for key congressional districts. Alaska and the Arctic in general never even rise to political notice in America because the state has the lowest population of voters and therefore the least influence in the House of Representatives.

If the USA were to develop a good port on the Arctic coast of Alaska for emergency services with a coast guard base and a few large icebreakers and encourage Canada to build one or two more on their Arctic coast the Americas could compete head to head with the Russians for ship traffic crossing from Europe to Asia via the Arctic Ocean. Yet such a development plan requires leadership and looking to the benefit of all Canadians and Americans instead of just one faction or another in the political circus, so it doesn't even get a mention, let alone a serious debate.


My understanding is that the US Coast Guard currently only has one heavy ice breaker (the Polar Star which is a 45 year old vessel) and one medium ice breaker. Canada has a larger fleet of ice breakers but is also well behind in constructing new vessels. Neither Canada or the US have any nuclear powered ice breakers in operation nor any plans to build such vessels. Russia built its first nuclear powered ice breaker in 1959, and has a new class of nuclear powered ice breakers under construction.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 19:19:33

I see that the main problem in the North West passage is the drift of old ice tending to clog it up along with very narrow channels when they do open with many navigation hazards and shallow drafts. Russia has oil and gas on the Siberian coast that needs to be delivered to paying customers. What oil we still have coming off the North slope fits nicely into the Alaska pipeline. The Russians will probably do more as it profits them and we will do little as we see no profit to be made.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 19:31:56

vtsnowedin wrote:I see that the main problem in the North West passage is the drift of old ice tending to clog it up along with very narrow channels when they do open with many navigation hazards and shallow drafts. Russia has oil and gas on the Siberian coast that needs to be delivered to paying customers. What oil we still have coming off the North slope fits nicely into the Alaska pipeline. The Russians will probably do more as it profits them and we will do little as we see no profit to be made.


I think it is the chicken vs egg problem. Canada has some diamond and precious metal mines in the arctic that are mostly accessed by air in summer and over ice roads in winter. Other than that they have done little if any development. In contrast Scandinavians and Russians have been exploiting their Arctic regions for centuries for things as common as iron ore. Without infrastructure exploiting moderate value minerals like common metal ores is not economically viable.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 17 Jul 2020, 20:31:26

Iron copper and other metals are currently well supplied by sources in more temperate zones.There is no point in trying to develop them in the arctic as long as those sources can deliver them at a lower unit cost. When they become the best source then the local industry will thrive. The Yamal peninsula currently is producing oil at a loss but in the near future will probably be very profitable as long as the oil and gas can be delivered to world markets.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 18 Jul 2020, 10:23:19

vtsnowedin wrote:Iron copper and other metals are currently well supplied by sources in more temperate zones.There is no point in trying to develop them in the arctic as long as those sources can deliver them at a lower unit cost. When they become the best source then the local industry will thrive. The Yamal peninsula currently is producing oil at a loss but in the near future will probably be very profitable as long as the oil and gas can be delivered to world markets.


Yamal oil is only at a loss currently because of the massive reduction in oil demand from the global freak out over Covid-19. If/when demand resumes its prior rate that oil will again be profitable.

As for common ores, we have been getting warnings for a decade that Copper is getting harder to come by from existing mines due to the massive electrification of China, India and other formerly low energy nations.

Ultimately however IMO of course, as the climate changes and the Mackenzie River Valley becomes a high fertility zone I think farming will lead the way just as it did in Georgia long before Gold was discovered and Alabama long before the Bauxite was exploited. Growing world population needs more food production and most of the MacKenzie Valley is right on the cusp of growing crops like Barley and Oats.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 18 Jul 2020, 12:03:13

It is going to take a lot of climate change to change the Boreal forest of the Mackenzie river valley into productive farmland.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby JuanP » Sat 18 Jul 2020, 15:46:59

"Arctic sea ice news and analysis - Sea ice data updated daily with one-day lag" by National Snow & Ice Data Center
https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

"By July 15, 2020, Arctic sea ice extent was at a record low over the period of satellite observations for this time of year. The Siberian heat wave this past spring initiated early ice retreat along the Russian coast, leading to very low sea ice extent in the Laptev and Barents Seas. The Northern Sea route appears to be nearly open."

Time to send those Russian icebreakers to port and give those crews a rest.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby REAL Green » Sat 18 Jul 2020, 17:43:34

“Bigger Than An Aircraft Carrier: Russia is Building the World’s Most Powerful Nuclear Powered Icebreaker”
https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... icebreaker
https://militarywatchmagazine.com/m/art ... 005008.jpg

“Russian state media reported on July 12th that the country’s Zvezda shipyard has begun construction of the first Leader Class nuclear powered icebreaker, a massive 70,000 ton ship which is larger than the Russian Navy’s Kuznetsov Class heavy aircraft carrier and has one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world. Investment in the program comes amid a fast growing Russian military presence in the Arctic region, where the new icebreaker is expected to be deployed… A notable feature of the Leader Class ship is its ability to operate all year round, with an eight month endurance and minimal maintenance requirements. The program follows on from the Project 22220, the maiden vessel of which is currently undergoing its final trials and is expected to become active before the end of 2020. Where the older class of icebreaker had a 60MW power plant and could cut through 3 meter thick ice, the Leader Class is twice as powerful with a 120MW power plant and can cut through 4.3 meter thick ice. The first Leader Class icebreaker is expected to become operational in 2027, and three ships of the class are planned. The program could potentially better facilitate the establishment of permeant shipping routes beyond Russia’s north coast, something neighbouring China has shown a particularly strong interest in accessing due to ongoing Western threats to its shipping routs in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.”
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby sparky » Sat 18 Jul 2020, 21:28:42

.
Good comment Real Green , some proviso cutting through 4 meters of ice might be feasible but it would beat the hell out of the ship structural integrity if done too long ,
4 meters ice packs are quite rare on the normal shore hugging route

the Lenin was the first nuclear civilian vessel commissioned
The captain of the "Lenin " the first ice breaker to perform a non stop transit in 1960 commented that they had been surprised by the hardness of the ice at the mouth of the great rivers
apparently sweet water ice was much harder than the normal sea water pack which crumble readily

from the Wiki
" Lenin entered operation in 1959 and worked clearing sea routes for cargo ships along Russia's northern coast. From 1960 to 1965 the ship covered over 85,000 miles during the Arctic navigation season, of which almost 65,000 were through ice.
Nuclear power proved to be an ideal technology for a vessel working in such a remote area as it removed the need for regular replenishment of fuel. It was officially decommissioned in 1989.

That's the problem for the US , a large icebreaker really need nuclear power to be efficient
there is simply no way a couple could be build and commissioned , the greenies would be up in arms
they probably would make it mandatory that it be solar powered
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 24 Jul 2020, 20:05:44

Based on this image the Northern Sea Route alongthe coast of Siberia is wide open for traffic by standard freighters.
Image
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 25 Jul 2020, 10:54:20

It will be interesting in November to see how many ships made the crossing in the season.
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Re: Arctic shipping to conserve energy.

Unread postby sparky » Sun 26 Jul 2020, 02:06:35

.

a lot of the arctic shipping is from Yamal to Murmansk
as of today there is very few trans arctic passage for commercial vessels
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