||GAZPROM Neft Trading GmbH
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The operation of vessels in severe ice conditions and sub-zero temperatures presents many challenges. These challenges include issues related to the construction, outfitting, and operation of vessels and the ability of the crew to work in a difficult environment. In addition to the Ice Class and Polar Class notations, which are largely dealing with structural reinforcements to withstand the ice pressure on the hull, machinery and winterization issues need to be addressed in order to ensure safe navigation in ice and cold weather. Ice-class notation does not cover ships suitability from the standpoint of operational ability in low temperatures, ice navigation and/or icebreaker escort or ship staff training. As the unique demands imposed on vessels operating in polar regions, due consideration should be given to appropriate preparations prior to proceeding in to areas of sub-zero conditions whether the vessel is designed with the intention of the trade or is an occasional caller in such areas. This process should allow for adequate time for vessel personnel to prepare the vessel for safe and efficient operations in anticipated conditions. Operations in ice-covered waters and subzero temperatures should take due account of factors such as: ship class, environmental conditions, icebreaker escort, prepared tracks, short or local routes, crew experience, support technology and services such as ice-mapping, communications, safe ports, repair facilities and other ships in convoy...