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Ready for the Northern Sea Route

LNG/C Ribera del Duero Knutsen is technically ready to carry LNG to Japan/Korea through the NSR- the Northern Sea Route. Being technically ready means that Knutsen OAS Shipping, with  some reservations, has received the approval of Russian authorities, allowing the ship to carry out such passage in the next season.- We started preparations in the spring of 2010. The Murmansk based NSR administration has now approved our application, subject to our acquiring charts, navigation equipment and warm clothing for the crew, say two of the persons in charge of the work to make Ribera del Duero Knutsen ready for such voyage, Bjørn Hagland Hansen and Synnøve Seglem. Ribera del Duero is the only vessel of this size in the world capable of carrying out such a journey. It is classified as DNV ice class ICE 1A by Det Norske Veritas and has a winterisation notation.- We estimate that the passage from northern Europe to Japan will take half the time it takes to sail through the Suez Canal. On parts of the passage we shall need the assistance of two Russian nuclear ice breakers.Our preparations include amongst others performing a special DNV stability analysis and a DNV Risk Assessment report. Moreover, Russian inspectors have been onboard Ribera del Duero Knutsen, to assess its condition before approving the application, they report.The route from Murmansk to the Bering Strait covers around 3000 nautical miles (5600 km), and is assumed to take a couple of weeks. The whole trip from Northern Europe to Japan will take about a month. Such sailings can only be made during the June to October season. During this time span, one will be able to make a maximum of three trips.