Chinese Ice-class Cargo Ship Arrives at French Port

After a 33-day voyage, Chinese ice-class cargo ship Tian En, designated to transport cargo via the northeastern shipping route of the Polar Silk Road, arrived Thursday at Rouen port, France, where part of the cargo will be unloaded.

In January 2018, China outlined its ambitions to extend the Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic by developing Arctic shipping routes that would form a “Polar Silk Road”.

Under the guidance of French pilots, the cargo ship sailed into River Seine at 16:00 local time on Wednesday, and anchored at Rouen Port two hours later.

Tian En, the first ice-class cargo ship developed by China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, departed from Lianyungang Port in east China’s Jiangsu Province on Aug 4. The ship sailed through the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Okhotsk Sea, the Chukchi Sea, the Siberian Sea, the Laptev Sea, the Kara Sea, the Barents Sea and the North Sea in Europe, and finally arrived at the port in Europe.

The voyage of Tian En covered more than 18,500 kilometers and lasted more than 30 days. The vessel is fully loaded with wind power generation equipment of 37,000 cubic meters imported by European countries including France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

On many occasions of the voyage, the ship was besieged by large amounts of floating ice in the Arctic Ocean, and the speed of the ship once slowed down to less than 1 km per hour. It also experienced challenges from icebergs, dense fogs and strong winds. Finally, it overcame many difficulties and dangers and successfully finished the mission.

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