TALLINN - The Estonian icebreaker Botnica set out on a journey to the Canadian Arctic on Sunday morning to provide its services for the fourth consecutive summer to a company extracting iron ore near the port of Milne Inlet.
"Botnica's journey spanning 3,200 nautical miles with 17 crew members on board will first take the ship to the Port of Saint John, where nine more crew members from Canada will board the vessel and a thorough inspection of the ship will be performed by Canadian authorities," said Ulo Eero, chairman of the management board of TS Shipping, a subsidiary of the listed Estonian port company Tallinna Sadam.
"From there, Botnica will continue its journey to the Arctic, to the northern part of Baffin Island, where icy conditions remain and temperatures are around zero degrees Celsius," he added.
Eero noted that before its departure, Botnica was stocked with the maximum amount of supplies and fuel due to restocking being very difficult in the Arctic during the long work period. Botnica's key tasks are the provision of escort service as an ice monitoring vessel to Panamax class freighters in the straits leading to the port of Milne Inlet. According to preliminary plans, Botnica is expected to return and arrive in its home port in Tallinn in mid-November.
OU TS Shipping, a fully owned subsidiary of AS Tallinna Sadam, in 2018 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. The charter agreement is valid until 2022, but is subject to re-endorsement by the partner for each new year.
In addition to escort and ice monitoring services, Botnica also monitors pollution and provides emergency services if needed.
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, that is from Dec. 20 through April 20, OU TS Shipping has an agreement with the Estonian Maritime Administration for the provision of icebreaking services in Estonia's coastal waters.