Nornickel, the Russian nickel and copper miner has signed a long-term agreement with Atomflot to use the latter’s ice-breaking services to transport goods to the Norilsk Industrial District in Northern Russia.
Under this agreement, which is valid for seven years with a possibility of extending until 2029, Atomflot will offer ice-breaking services to Nornickel to support the miner’s third-party vessels entering the area from Western edge to Dudinka port in Northern Russia. Additionally, Atomflot will also maintain navigable passages for Nornickel’s metals products vessels headed from the Yenisey Gulf to the port of Dudinka.
Atomflot vessels will break ice for Nornickel’s Arctic fleet, which consists of six ARC7 reinforced ice class vessels, including five Norilsk Nickel container vessels and one Yenisey tanker.
In 2010-11, the nickel producer’s vessels completed their first-ever independent journey along the Northern Sea route in a single navigation season to deliver Nornickel’s products to Southeast Asian ports and returned with a cargo of supplies.
Nornickel is considered to be one of the biggest customers for the Russian ice-breaking fleet, with the first escorts for the Norilsk-based mining and metallurgical plant dating back to the 1960s.