Venta Maersk writes history
Maersks ice-class vessel Venta Maersk has sailed through the Northeast Passage for the first time. Venta Maersk of 3.600 TEU is the world’s first commercial container vessel to sail the route, as the passage has predominantly been reserved for tanker vessels, bulk carriers, and passenger ships.
”The vessel left the port of Vladivostok on August 23 and sailed through Bering Stædet around September 6. Venta Maersk is currently sailing along the coast of Norway and it looks like the ship will arrive in Skt. Petersburg next week. Everything is going great onboard the vessel. The ship is in great condition, and all systems are working”, says a spokesperson from Maersk to World Maritime News.
Maersk Line has described their decision to send one of its container ships through the Northeast Passage as an experiment with the purpose of investigating the operational feasibility of container shipping through the Northeast Pass and collect data. However, the shipping company does not currently perceive the route to be a commercial alternative to the existing network.
Maersk decided to use ultra-low sulfur fuel oil (ULSFO) while sailing through the passage. Venta Maersk is part of the subsidiary Seago Line's Baltic fleet of feeders, built to meet the requirements for low sulfur fuel in the emission control area, ECA, in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea regions.
The decision is significant because of the environmental problems that have been occurring in connection with increasing shipping activity in the Arctic Ocean. Due to a larger presence of vessels in the Arctic, the risk of collisions and incidents that may cause oil spillage in an area lacking sufficient infrastructure to handle oil pollution is increasing.