Norilsk Nickel completed creation of its own arctic fleet
Moscow, 26 February, 2009 – OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel (hereinafter - MMC Norilsk Nickel or the Company) announces that it has completed building up its own arctic fleet. A diesel electric vessel named Nadezhda delivered MMC Norilsk Nickel cargo to Dudinka. This is the fifth vessel built for the Company as part of its strategy adopted back in 2004 and targeting transport independence of MMC Norilsk Nickel.
The first diesel electric ship named Norilsk Nickel was commissioned in April 2006. In July 2008 Monchegorsk vessel was delivered and another peer named Zapolyarny was handed over to the Company in October of the same year. In November the fourth diesel electric ship – Talnakh - joined the fleet. Nadezhda, the fifth complement to the fleet, which was commissioned in January 2009. All of these ships are graded as seventh class ice-breaking vessels and it is the highest rank awarded to Arctic vessels for the first time in history. The vessels are equipped with AZIPOD double-action propelling units: while sailing on its own each ship is capable of breaking 1.5 meters thick Arctic ice moving stern foremost at a speed of up to 3 knots. Furthermore, these vessels will provide additional economic advantages for MMC Norilsk Nickel because the Company will be independent in establishing its transport costs.
AZIPOD propelling unit is a podded rotary unit with steerable propellers fixed under the stern and powered by a 13 MW (17,000 hp) electric engine. Modern computer-based terminals and satellite communication equipment are installed to allow selecting optimal routes in the Kara Sea drifting ice. The Captain receives ice conditions data online from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Saint-Petersburg). The cost of each vessel is about 82 million euros.
Container carrier Nadezhda is the only vessel of the five equipped with two 40 t cranes. These cranes are designed to handle cargo outside ports if required. Key specifications of the vessel include: length 169 meters, width 23.1 meters, deadweight – 18.112 tons. Depending on water level at certain river rapids the ship will carry up to 12-14 kt (700 standard containers) of cargo, the only limitation being her draft of about 9 meters.
The first vessel of the fleet was built by Aker Finnyards in Finland and the other four in Germany at Aker dockyards (renamed Wadan Yards following a change of ownership).
On February 19 the Arctic fleet of MMC Norilsk Nickel was officially registered as a customs carrier. The status allows the Company to enjoy exemption from measures applied by the state to ensure that carriers comply with Russian customs regulations requiring guarantees of customs duty payments, customs support and fixed transport routes.
The official registration of the Company as a customs carrier along with the use of electronic customs declaration forms will ensure that the Company operates under optimized procedures related to clearance of its cargos.
ABOUT MMC NORILSK NICKEL:
MMC Norilsk Nickel, a company incorporated under the laws of the Russian Federation, is the largest diversified mining and metals company in Russia, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium and one of the world's largest producers of platinum, rhodium, copper and cobalt. In addition to this, MMC Norilsk Nickel produces a large number of other by-products, including gold, silver, tellurium, selenium, iridium and ruthenium.
The key production units of the Company’s group in Russia are the Polar Division and OJSC Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company. MMC Norilsk Nickel international assets include operations in Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa. MMC Norilsk Nickel is the majority shareholder in Stillwater Mining Company, the largest producer of platinum group metals in North America, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.