It is completely irresponsible to sail through the North-East passage north of Russia with ships that have not been ice-strengthened. Russia’s suggestion to shipping companies to do so anyway is most of all a political stunt, says the Danish pioneer company in the area, Nordic Bulk Carriers.
Nordic Bulk Carriers has such faith in the alternative route between Europe and Asia that Nordic Bulk Carriers along with its investor, Phoenix Bulk Carriers, and the major customer, Glencore International, will double its tonnage on the North-East passage. Yet all the new tonnage, which will not be delivered until 2014 and 2015, will be in the most secure type of ice class 1A. On the whole, the company believes that navigation along the deserted route ought to, at a minimum, be undertaken in an ice-classified ship.