FESCO Transportation Group has signed a new five-year contract with India’s “National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) to provide utility services to the country’s Antarctic research stations. This is reported by the news portal SeaNews.
Under the contract, FESCO’s ice-breaking cargo ship “Vasily Golovnin” will deliver general cargo, food, fuel and polar NCPOR researchers to India’s Bharati and Maitri research stations in Antarctica during five Antarctic seasons until 2026.
The first shipment to Antarctica is scheduled to depart from Cape Town in December 2021.
FESCO has experience in providing supply services to the Indian Antarctic stations. In 2019-2021, the “Vasily Golovnin” undertook three expeditions to the Indian Antarctic stations “Maitri” and “Bharati”. During these operations, more than 3,000 tons of cargo and 150 people were transported, and more than 400 tons of waste and decommissioned equipment were taken back.
FESCO has been operating in Antarctica for 60 years and has also served under contracts to deliver Antarctic research programs for the US, Australia, UK, Chile and Argentina.
The “Vasiliy Golovnin” is a Russian icebreaking cargo ship. Built in 1988 in the Soviet Union, the ship has a diesel-electric propulsion system that drives a propeller with an output of 15,600 hp.
The loading capacity is 20,200 tons, or a maximum of 305 20-foot containers. For loading and unloading, 3 shipboard cranes are available.
Two helicopters are carried on board for missions in Antarctica. The crew consists of 39 members. The ship is operated by the Russian Far East Shipping Company (FESCO). The home port is Vladivostok. The “Vasiliy Golovnin” is regularly chartered for the whole season.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal