HAMBURG, Germany – Two of HANSA HEAVY LIFT’s P2-Class vessels have navigated the Northern Sea Route before its winter closure this month. The HHL Lagos and HHL Hong Kong, both E3 ice-class vessels equivalent to the Russian L1, delivered infrastructure cargo and large tugs from the Russian Baltic to the Far East.
Both vessels are equipped with two 700-metric ton (772-ton) cranes, combinable to 1,400 metric tons (1,543 tons). This is the first time a P-Type vessel has made a journey via the Northern Sea Route.
Joerg Roehl, chief commercial officer at HANSA HEAVY LIFT, said that, despite difficult weather conditions for part of the journey, the Northern Sea Route saved the company almost two weeks’ steaming time, which meant it could support its customers with their delivery schedules.
The HHL Hong Kong loaded four assembled cranes, each weighing 400 metric tons (441 tons), and measuring 56 m (184 ft) high at Ust Luga, Russia, on Oct. 16. Ten days later, the HHL Lagos loaded six tug boats, weighing a maximum 700 metric tons (772 tons), at the Port of St. Petersburg, Russia.
“From the very beginning of this complicated project, we were aware that the HHL Hong Kong would only have two options to deliver this cargo to its final destination,” Roehl said. “The Suez Canal was not a solution because of air draft limitations. Sending the vessel around the Cape of Good Hope was possible, but not commercially viable. After careful planning and obtaining all the necessary permits from the Russian Federation, we decided to send the vessel via the Northern Sea Route, which guaranteed the timely delivery of the cargo. The HHL Lagos, booked for a similar route, was also sent via the Northern Sea Route to save bunkers, ensure shorter transit times, and to avoid the high-risk area around the Gulf of Aden.”