In 2013 the first container ship arrived in Rotterdam using the Northeast Passage along the Russian Arctic. Due to decreasing sea ice previously ice covered areas now become available for shipping. The advantages are clear: a 3,000 km shortcut when compared to the Suez Canal route saves significant amounts of time and fuel. This seminar will discuss the opportunities of operating in the arctic, for both shipping as well as offshore operations. Furthermore, experienced experts in the field will address the challenges and regulations. The seminar will be held on Wednesday the 16th of April at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague.
The expectations are that shipping activities will increase steadily over the next decades. Oil & gas related activities, new harbours and tourism will further increase Arctic shipping. To illustrate this trend: currently 105 ships are being built; all of them with ice class. Besides advantages there are also challenges to deal with. Ship owners have to train their crew to work in harsh circumstances. The crew has to deal with challenging tasks such as ice management to predict ice thickness, its volume, and where and when the ice will be present. There are also logistical challenges e.g. navigation and communication. Environmental performance is also crucial in order to gain international acceptance of new Arctic activities. Examples are underwater noise, black carbon, effectiveness of ballast water treatment and sensitive areas with marine mammals such as whales, narwhals and belugas.
The seminar is organised by HME, Canatec, IMARES Wageningen UR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The seminar is supported by TKI Maritiem with the aim to exchange knowledge and disclose a network of arctic professionals within the Netherlands.