Russian diesel-powered icebreaker "Vladimir Ignatyuk" during the year will provide pilotage of vessels with cargo for U.S. polar station in Antarctica, according to U.S. National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation — NSF), which provides the U.S. Antarctic Program.
The one-year contract signed with the owner of the fund icebreaker — JSC "Murmansk Shipping Company" — provides that "Ignatyuk" will support the channel clean water in the ice of the Gulf of McMurdo and spend it on the court to allow the supply of fuel and other goods of the two polar stations of the United States. The agreement provides for the possibility of extending the contract for another year.
The data for the contract are not given.
To resort to the help of the Russian icebreaker had to NSF after this summer the Swedish government announced that the Swedish icebreaker Oden can no longer provide services to the American polar pilotage, as was done in previous years.
Currently on the southern continent in the United States Antarctic Program has three year-round stations and two of them — "McMurdo" (on the shores of the Gulf in the Ross Sea) and the "Amundsen-Scott" on the geographic South Pole — very dependent on the timely delivery of fuel . They need 5 million gallons of fuel per year (18.93 million tons), and without these supplies research program can be greatly reduced.
Icebreaker "Vladimir Ignatyuk" built in Canada in 1983, has worked in Antarctica, providing supplies, in particular, India’s Antarctic program.
U.S. authorities have calculated that "Ignatyuk" will be able to help in the supply of U.S. antarktricheskih stations until 2014, when the system returns after a heavy overhaul the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star, reports RIA "Novosti".