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Arctic shipping route may take 20 years, Maersk CEO: FT
by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) Oct 07, 2013


Commercial shipping routes across the Arctic will not be a reality for at least a decade or two, the head of the world's biggest container line told the Financial Times on Monday.

Maersk chief executive Nils Andersen told the newspaper that an Arctic shortcut -- expected to slash journey times between China and Europe -- is "not something that will happen within the next 10 to 20 years."

The first commercial Chinese vessel recently sailed through the Northeast Passage, prompting speculation about a boom in Arctic shipping.

The shipping route north of Russia has been opened up by global warming and cuts thousands of miles -- and about two weeks -- off the journey from China, the world's biggest exporter, to its key European markets.

However it is currently only viable for commercial shipping for about four months a year when the polar ice melts enough to open up a safe route.

Icebreakers are nonetheless needed to assist the ships through the waters, rendering it a costly option.

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Russia to charge Greenpeace activists with piracy: report
Moscow (AFP) Oct 01, 2013
Greenpeace activists detained in Russia for a protest against Arctic oil drilling will be formally charged with piracy on Wednesday, the Interfax news agency said. If found guilty, the 30 detained activists could face a maximum punishment of 15 years in jail. "They will be charged... (with) piracy committed by an organised group," Interfax quoted a law enforcement source as saying on Tue ... read more


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