Northern Sea Route: Fast, Reliable, Predictable and Profitable
Alexey Chekunkov, the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, has delivered a report on the development of the Northern Sea Route before the Federation Council.20 April 2022
In his speech, the Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexey Chekunkov noted that the traffic along the Northern Sea Route was growing pro rata with the route's increasing importance. The Northern Sea Route is of huge importance for the economy of the Russian Arctic. Arctic projects account for up to 20% of Russian exports and up to 10% of the country's gross domestic product.
The increase in cargo turnover from the current 35 million tonnes to 80 million tonnes by 2024 directly depends on the implementation of major investment projects by four key companies: Gazpromneft, Novatek, Rosneft and Severnaya Zvezda. If all the plans are fulfilled and the transit increases, the turnover could exceed 200 million tonnes by 2030.
"To ensure the competitiveness of the NSR and make it fast, reliable, predictable and profitable for shippers, we need to complete a major government program aimed at the development of infrastructure and creation of an ice fleet," says the minister.
The port infrastructure will grow more than 2.5-fold by 2024. The construction of the Utrenniy terminal for the Arctic LNG-2 project is nearing completion. Active construction is underway in the Yenisey Gulf, with the projects including the Sever Bay port (Vostok Oil project) and the Yenisey terminal (Severnaya Zvezda).
The Northern Sea Route is not only a commercial route, but also a lifeline for nearly 3 million people who depend on it as part of the Northern Supply initiative (delivery of vital supplies to remote Russian territories). This year, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East together with Rosatom are launching a regular coastal line between St. Petersburg and Vladivostok. The trips will be performed by Rosatom's lighter aboard ship Sevmorput. Shippers will know the exact dates of trips in advance, and the cost of shipping will be competitive.