Maersk finished Arctic test run

The container shipper Maersk Line has completed a test voyage across Russia’s Northern Sea Route, or NSR, with its Venta Maersk, one of its smaller container ships (3,600 container capacity). The voyage was a test run to assess the idea of Arctic shipping, and not intended to be a start of regular service, Maersk said. Some competitors like China’s Cosco has sent about a dozen general cargo ships across NSR but not a container ship. Sovcomflot, the Russian tanker company, has made about 100 transits this summer carrying crude oil, and ice-class liquefied natural gas carriers are moving LNG from Russia’s Yamal Peninsula LNG export plant in the Arctic. Maersk said it has no immediate plans to use the NSR regularly, however.

Ravn owners buy PenAir

Peninsula Aviation Services Inc., an affiliate of the Ravn Air Group, bid successfully for assets of bankrupt PenAir in an auction in early October. This keeps PenAir serving Southwest Alaska as a regional carrier, and owned by an aviation company with rural Alaska experience. The bid was $12.3 million. Following the sale PenAir and Ravn will operate as sister companies. The bid was in cash and the assumption of PenAir’s liabilities. The only other bidder was Wexford Capital, an East Coast hedge fund manager. Alaska Airlines, which had been approved to make an offer, chose not to bid.

Coal exports from Adak?

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke floated an idea to use west coast military installations as terminals to export fossil fuel products like coal as a way to circumvent local opposition on west coast ports. Zinke mentioned only one specific port, however – the closed naval air station at Adak, in the Aleutians, which is now partly owned by the Aleut Corp. Alaska coal for export could be shipped by barge from the North Slope, Zinke suggested.

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