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Centenary of the birth of Timofey Guzhenko

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15 February 2018 is the centenary of the birth of Timofey Borisovich Guzhenko (1918-2008), Minister of the Marine Fleet of the USSR, Hero of Socialist Labour, and one of the founders of Russia's largest shipping company - Sovcomflot.

 

Sovcomflot’s seafarers took an active part in the celebration of the centenary of the birth of T.B. Guzhenko. Alexander Olshevsky, Adviser to the President & CEO of PAO Sovcomflot, and Alexander Potemka, Deputy Head of Navigation Safety Department, laid flowers on the grave of the legendary Head of the Ministry of the Marine Fleet on behalf of Sovcomflot. 

At noon, the crew of Sovcomflot's Arctic shuttle tanker named after T.B. Guzhenko held a meeting and honoured the memory of Timofey Guzhenko with the sounding of their ship's whistle in accordance with long maritime traditions. 

The vessel's godmother Irina Ivanova addressed the tanker's crew by telegramme: "Timofey Borisovich Guzhenko made a great contribution to the development of the Arctic. The success of the 1977 expedition to the North Pole, under his leadership, was the beginning of fundamental work intended to extend the period of Arctic navigation, and the icebreaker Arktika became the first ever surface vessel craft to reach the North Pole". 

The tanker's Master Alexander Andreev took part in a teleconference with cadets from the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, the topic of which was the life of T.B. Guzhenko. In his speech he particularly noted: "On this anniversary, when we refresh the memory of Timofey Borisovich, I should like you to perceive him as a living, bright and like-minded person. We, present-day seafarers, see and use the fruits of the work of this energetic manager, a leader of the national maritime industry, strategic thinker, and a man of uncrushable will."


Summary biography of T.B. Guzhenko 

T.B. Guzhenko was born on 15 February 1918 in the family of a blacksmith in the village of Tatarinovo, Orel Province. He graduated from the Odessa Institute of Marine Engineers in 1942, and later from A.N. Krylov's Leningrad Naval Academy of Shipbuilding and Armament. 

During the war, T.B. Guzhenko worked at Murmansk Commercial Seaport ensuring the acceptance of the legendary Arctic convoys carrying military and civilian goods for the theatre of war. In the post war years, he became the Head of Kholmsk Commercial Seaport and later of Korsakov Commercial Seaport. In 1955, T.B. Guzhenko took the lead of Sakhalin Shipping Company thus becoming the youngest (at the age of 37) head of a shipping company in the Soviet Union. He was the First Deputy Minister of Marine Fleet of the USSR from 1966, and Minister of the Marine Fleet of the USSR from 1970 to October 1986. 

The development of the Soviet Marine Fleet as a high-tech, competitive and efficient sector of the national economy that utilised the best achievements of science and technology, is associated with the name of T.B. Guzhenko. The USSR Marine Fleet was a subsidised industry when T.B. Guzhenko became the Minister. In 1980s, the Ministry of the Marine Fleet of the USSR took fifth place in a table ranking 80 sectoral ministries in terms of foreign exchange earnings and was the fifth largest in the world in terms of fleet deadweight. 

The unchallenged success of the time, achieved with the direct involvement of T.B. Guzhenko, was entering into several bilateral inter-governmental maritime navigation treaties that allowed the Soviet merchant fleet to compete with the largest players in the shipping market. In 1973 the Council of Ministers of the USSR, with the direct involvement of T.B. Guzhenko, allowed bareboat charter operations by the Ministry of the Marine Fleet of the USSR and thereby provided the necessary sources of funding. This was the basis for the establishment of Joint-Stock Commercial Enterprise Sovcomflot in 1988. 

T.B. Guzhenko made an enormous contribution to the development of Arctic shipping. On 17 August 1977, the expedition of the nuclear icebreaker Arktika, under his leadership, reached the North Pole on a surface vessel for the first time in history. Comprehensive work intended to extend the duration of Arctic navigation started after Arktika's successful voyage, and the navigation in the areas with the maximum freight traffic (Dudinka, Igarka, Anadyr ports) became year-round. Timofey Borisovich was awarded the title of the Hero of Socialist Labour for this expedition. 

T.B. Guzhenko was awarded many honorary titles: holder of the Order of Naval Merit; four Orders of Lenin; Orders of October Revolution; Red Banner of Labour; Red Star; Badge of Honour, and medals for Labour Valour.

 

Sovcomflot's Arctic shuttle tanker, used for shipping oil from the Arctic fixed offshore ice-resistant off-loading terminal (FOIROT) at Varandey to the Port of Murmansk, bears the name of Timofey Guzhenko. The tanker utilises unique engineering solutions, allowing the vessel to operate efficiently in the Arctic seas all year around. Her deadweight exceeds 70,000 tonnes; her length is 256 metres, and width is 34 metres. The tanker has an ice class of Arc6 (the highest ice class); she is equipped with two Azipod azimuth thrusters, with the total capacity of 20 MW, and a dynamic positioning system, and can break ice up to 1.5 m thick. The tanker is operated by a domestic crew under the flag of the Russian Federation. Registry port: St. Petersburg.

SCF Press Office

PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as servicing offshore upstream oil and gas installations and equipment. The Group’s fleet comprises 150 vessels with a total deadweight of over 13 million tonnes. The company is registered in St. Petersburg with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai.

The Group offers a wide range of vessels in the market segments most demanded by major Russian oil and gas companies. With its own technical development and unique approach to advanced technologies, Sovcomflot can meet the most demanding customer requirements, providing effective transportation for oil & gas companies.