UPDATE 1-Big freighter traverses Northwest Passage for 1st time

Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:14am EDT
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* Nordic Orion carrying Pacific Canadian coal to Finland

* Voyage cut a week off time, saved $80,000 in fuel

* Seen as high-risk, high-gain strategy -expert

* U.N. publishes new climate change report on same day

* Analysts see commercial Arctic shipping as years away

By John McGarrity and Henning Gloystein

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - A large freighter completed a voyage through the hazardous Arctic Northwest Passage for the first time this week, showing the potential for cutting shipment times and costs as global warming opens new routes.

The 75,000 deadweight-tonne Nordic Orion, built in 2011 by a Japanese shipyard, left the Canadian Pacific port of Vancouver in early September and is scheduled to arrive in the Finnish port of Pori on Oct. 7, according to AIS shipping data.

The ship will deliver coking coal from Canadian miner Teck Resources to Ruukki Metals, a Finnish steel producer.   Continued...