Timofey Guzhenko – a State figure, the USSR Minister of Merchant Marine (1970 – 1986), the Hero of Socialist Labour, one of the founders of the Sovcomflot Group. He was born on 15 February 1918. Timofey Guzhenko graduated from the Institute of Merchant Fleet Engineers in Odessa in 1942, and then graduated from the Leningrad Maritime Academy. He worked in the commercial port of Murmansk during the Second World War. After the war he worked in consecutive order, as a Director of the ports of Kholmsk, Korsakov and the Sakhalin Shipping Company. Starting from 1966 he worked as the First Deputy Minister of the USSR Merchant Marine, and then starting from 1970 – as the USSR Minister of Merchant Marine. He held this position till October 1986.
As a man and the industry leader, Timofey Guzhenko had a tremendous capacity for work, dedication, willpower, determination and strategic thinking. All these qualities allowed him to become a top professional in shipping and a successful State executive – the top manager of an important sector of the national economy. It is the name of T. Guzhenko which is connected with turning the merchant fleet into a leading branch of the Soviet economy, absorbing the best technical ideas, the latest scientific achievements aimed at the development of the fleet’s material and technical basis and at the integrated development of the infrastructure, applying new approach to arranging maritime transport operation. While the Western countries followed the policy of protectionism in the international shipping, the signing of a number of bilateral inter-governmental agreements on maritime shipping was a real breakthrough at that time, which allowed the national commercial fleet to participate in the international carriage of cargos on equal terms.
Timofey Guzhenko contributed a lot to the development of the Arctic Region and the Arctic shipping. On 17 August 1977 an expedition on board the nuclear ice-breaker “Arctica” led by T.Guzhenko reached the North Pole for the first time in the history of mankind on board the surface vessel. After the successful voyage of the ice-breaker “Arctica” the results were analysed and the work began to arrange early navigation in the Arctic seas. The year-round navigation was established in the regions with maximum cargo traffic, such as the ports of Dudinka, Igarka and Anadyr. Timofey Guzhenko was awarded the Order of Lenin and the golden medal of “Hammer and Sickle”.
One of the Arctic shuttle tankers of 70 000 dwt and of enhanced ice-class, designed for seaborne transportation of oil from the Varandey oil field situated above the polar circle was named after Timofey Guzhenko. While designing such a tanker the most advanced and unique technical solutions were applied which makes it possible to operate effectively in the Arctic seas year-round. All the Arctic shuttle tankers owned by the Sovcomflot (SCF) Group are registered in the Russian International Register of Shipping, the port of registration being St. Petersburg, and are flying the flag of the Russian Federation. The tanker “Timofey Guzhenko” was delivered to the owner on 24 February 2009 and is to start regular voyages carrying crude oil from the Varandey terminal to the port of Murmansk in spring 2009.