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Printed: 01.03.2024.

PrintIcebreaker Botnica working in Canadian Arctic to replenish stocks in Tallinn

BC, Tallinn, 27.08.2018.
The Estonian icebreaker Botnica was scheduled to arrive in Tallinn early on Monday morning to replenish stocks and replace the crew before heading back to the Canadian Arctic less than two weeks from now, informed LETA/BNS.


"The main work for Botnica this summer has been assisting large Panamax class bulk vessels measuring over 200 meters in length and over 30 meters in width to ports of the northern part of Baffin Island in ice more than a meter thick. Work like this is quite difficult, as in addition icefields quite many big and dangerous icebergs are drifting in the area of Botnica's operation. 

This work was preceded by quite comprehensive crew training, in order to ensure safe operation of the ship and the crew under extreme conditions. We did well, and Estonian seamen once again proved that their level of professionalism is very high," Ulo Eero, board chairman of the Tallinna Sadam subsidiary TS Laevad which owns and operates the vessel, said.

He said that the operation of Botnica as an escort and ice surveillance vessel in the iron ore export project has been successful to date.

Once in Tallinn, the crew of Botnica will be replaced and stocks of fuel and food replenished. Work near Baffin Island in Canada poses a challenge also because no fuel or food is available so far in the Arctic and almost everything has to be brought in from Europe. Nor is there is a maintenance base in the area.

"Each day in the Arctic must be planned in great detail and considering potential risks, so that the stocks would suffice until returning to the home port," Eero added.

Botnica operated with a crew of 20 in Canada during the first icebreaking period. While the ship was in Canadian waters a few Canadian crew members were taken on board as trainees at the request of the charterer to get hands-on experience of work in Arctic waters.

Botnica is scheduled to leave Paljassaare port in Tallinn to return to the Canadian Arctic on Sept. 8.

OU TS Shipping, a fully owned subsidiary of AS Tallinna Sadam, has signed a contract with the Canadian company Baffinland Iron Mines LP for the chartering of the multifunctional icebreaker Botnica for the summer period of 2018, and depending on certain conditions, also for the summer periods of 2019-2022. According to the agreement, the working period will last from July until the end of October.

Baffinland Iron Mines LP is a Canadian mining company involved in the extraction of iron ore on Baffin Island in northern Canada.

For the winter periods, OU TS Shipping has an agreement with the Estonian Maritime Administration for the provision of icebreaking services in Estonia's coastal waters until 2022.