The Northern Sea Route shall keep its advantages in costs against other alternative transportation means including railways or routes through the Suez Canal, It is quite natural that those who are attempting to utilize the NSR commercially will be firstly concerned about the cost benefit and associated risks. Box B project in Phase II are assigned tasks to perform a ship transit simulation in order to answer these straightforward concerns incorporating advanced ship design and historical ice data. In order to conduct the simulation keeping with some confidences, multi disciplinary knowledge is necessary. Thus, Box B project is divided into nine work packages and WP8 takes the responsibility of integrating other project results.
WP 1 selected the routes both for regional and transit, and gathered knowledge for associated infrastructures. Two transit routes liking Yokohama and Hamburg were selected as compatible for 9m and 12.5m draft ships. The eastern route between Tiksi and Yokohama, and the western route between Dikson and Hamburg was selected as regional routes. These routes were plotted on sea charts in every 20 nautical miles to find out the obstacles near the routes.
WP2 presented enormous historical environmental data over forty years consisting of 18 items along the selected routes in every 20 nautical miles on a monthly average basis. WP3 presented the cargo Row data in current and future. WP4 performed the preliminary design and ice tank tests for the two icebreaking cargo ships used for the simulation. They featured container/bulk carriers and eight-month independent navigation capability in ice. In addition to WP4 results, a 50,000DWT icebreaking bulk carrier was also used to examine the efect of balance between icebreaking and open water capability. WP5 gathered SA-15 performance data in ice and structural damage to calibrate the simulation data. WP6 developed the ship velocity calculation code that is essential to determine the simulated ship velocities in ice conditions provided by WP2. WP7 reviewed the selected route from the legal viewpoints and performed the environmental impact assessment. WP8 imported some of other seven project results and incorporated them into the simulation works' Eight projects are closely inter-related, therefore an intensive coordination effort was made to proceed the project smoothly.
Box B project meetings were held in Tokyo and St, Petersburg on Feb. ,97 and Oct.,98 respectively organized by WP0.
In the past, cost simulations through the NSR were attempted. Wergeland (1992)showed feasibility results. Schwarz(1995) also presented the feasibility results for container ships considering future technical advances. Mulherin et al. (1996) employed the Monte Carlo technique to describe ice conditions along the route. In these simulations, the ship transit velocity was simply determined based on the empirical data or a simple look up table defining the relation between ice conditions and velocity. The Monte Carlo technique may be the proper method to describe very complex probabilities numerically however precise and detailed probabilistic descriptions will be necessary and may not be the method to compensate for lacking data. Ono ( 1995) indicated a seesaw phenomenon in ice condition along the NSR, namely when the ice condition in the East Siberian is heavy the ice condition in the western NSR is light. Thus, each ice condition generated Monte Carlo technique may not be realistic.
However it seems that the result found the Monte Carlo technique will converge to an average value as to entire route over sufficient long term period.
In this simulation, an effort is made to connect the ship velocity simulation code by WP6 and the ice conditions presented by WP2. The concept for the ice index originally introduced by the Canadian Arctic Ship Pollution Prevention Regulations as ice numerals is modified to express the ice conditions quantitatively as a solution, then the probabilistic relations between the ice condition and ship velocity are developed using the code provided by WP6. This method considerably enables shortening of the simulation time with keeping rational relation between the ice condition and transit time. WP8 simulation simply captured ice conditions as an only slowing factor. As a comparative study Mulherin et al. (1998) performed the simulation study updating their original model to examine the other slowing factors including pressures, wind, waves, fogs, icing, snow and currents. They concluded that their ellects are minor.
Chapter 2 summarizes the results utilized in this simulation. Chapter 3 describes the computer code developed for this simulation and inherent assumptions adopted in addition to Chapter 2. Chapter 4 summarizes the results. The simulation was performed in twofold. One is the simulation named Monthly Voyage Simulation (MVS) representing the rcquired cost on each month. MVS is not representing the cost simulation conventionally adopted by the shipping industry however the most preferable method to look at the general trends for the variations for transit times by season and sea area, and icebreaker escort times etc. The other is the simulation named Annual Serial Voyage Simulation (ASVS). ASVS aims to estimate a number of voyages per year or specified period and evaluated freight cost per voyage as $/ton.
ASVS is widely used by the shipping industries to judge feasibility in terms of cost and profit.