Norway’s GC Rieber Shipping is making progress in extricating itself from Russian business four months after the Ukraine invasion.

The Oslo-listed shipowner said it has struck a deal with the charterer of its 50%-owned 12,236-bhp ice-breaking tug Polar Pevek (built 2006) to scrap its contract with immediate effect.

The vessel has left Russia, and the process of changing ship manager and reorganising the crew has begun. The Polar Pevek will soon be available for new business opportunities outside Russia.

The ship has operated for the same undisclosed client since 2006.

The charterer said in March that it would discontinue its operations at Sakhalin in the Russian Far East, according to GC Rieber.

The vessel’s contract had been firm until September 2023.

GC Rieber had said previously that it was “highly uncertain whether the contract could be terminated or discontinued at an earlier stage”.

VesselsValue lists Dutch financier Maas Capital as owning the other 50% of the Polar Pevek. The ship is worth $4m.

Meanwhile, the Russia-flag, 70-passenger crew transfer vessel (CTV) Polar Piltun (built 1998), 50% owned by GC Rieber, remains in lay-up in Kholmsk, Russia.

The company has refused to enter into a new charter for the vessel in Russia and will not take on any new business in the country generally.

Limited activity

GC Rieber said in March that it owned half of the Russian ship management company that manages the Polar Pevek and Polar Piltun.

“GC Rieber Shipping’s remaining activity in Russia is limited. GC Rieber Shipping continues to work closely with its joint venture partners to identify options for the local ship management company and its staff,” the company said on Wednesday.

The company sold its 50%-owned 70-passenger CTV Polar Baikal (built 2000) in February. The ship is now named Kometa, but the new owner is not known.