Fuel transfer in iced-in Alaska town Nome begins, Russian tanker Renda first winter fuel delivery

By on Jan 17, 2012 in Environment, Science, United States Comments

The transfer of fuel in Nome, the iced-in town in Alaska has begun; with the Russian tanker Renda arriving last Saturday, which was accompanied by the U.S Coast Guard and carried 1.3 million gallons of petroleum products.

Russian tanker Renda at the iced Bering Sea
Image Credit: U.S Coast Guard

As noted at Los Angeles Times on Monday, January 16, 2012, the fuel transfer started before sundown that day after the pumps were turned on, which the fuel is now pouring continuously.

According to the report, it took two days for the Renda crew to lay down the two parallel hoses, each measuring 700 yards long, from the Russian tanker to the pipeline, across the iced Bering Sea.

Vitus Marine, which was responsible for the fuel transportation and worked with Sitnasuak Native Corporation that owns the local fuel company, Bonanza Fuel, noted that the fuel transfer may be within 36 hours or until five days.

“The fuel started flowing right about 5, so just about sunset — just in the nick of time to make things very dramatic.” Vitus Marine spokeswoman Stacey Smith told the paper, with Renda voyage being noted as the first attempt to supply fuel to Alaska during winter.

Apparently, Nome has only five hours of daylight this year and although the fuel transfer may be done during night time, Alaska requires that such pumping should start during daylight for safety purposes.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that according to U.S Coast Guard Capt. Craig Lloyd, Nome has sufficient fuel until about March, but the delivery was late since it was supposed to be done last November and did not push through due to the storm.

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