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St. Petersburg Bars Ships Without Ice Reinforcement From Passing

St. Petersburg’s main port barred ships without sufficient anti-ice protection from entering without icebreakers because of floe buildup in the Gulf of Finland outside Russia’s second-largest city.

Ice thickness in the port area grew more than 30 centimeters (1 foot), the port’s administration said on its website today. Seven cargo vessels were waiting to enter the port and nine were waiting to steam away, it said.

The St. Petersburg port is the second-biggest general cargo port in Russia and the biggest port in the country’s northwest. It handled 57.8 million tons of cargo in 2012, 4 percent less than a year earlier.

In February-March 2011, the ice grew to 1-meter thick, hindering the passage of as many as 45 cargo vessels. Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. local plants suspended production for several days because of delays in the delivery of car components.

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