The Russian government has released the minutes of a meeting of President Vladimir Putin, highlighting the country’s continuing development of the North Sea Route (NSR). During the meeting, Minister Alexei Chekunkov informed Putin that there was a plan in place for the NSR by 2035, and noted that volumes had risen from 4 million tonnes in 2014 to 34 million tonnes in 2022, surpassing the Soviet record five times over. Putin expressed a desire to continue developing the route: “We have to think about the future. The Northern Sea Route is opening up.”
As part of the ongoing growth plans, Russia is preparing to start year-round operations on the eastern part of the NSR beginning in early 2024. Rosatom, the state-owned nuclear power company, announced that it will launch the round-the-year service after introducing the coastal service from Murmansk and Kamchatka in 2022. There are plans to move 36 million tonnes of cargo along the NSR, up from 34 million tonnes in 2022, with the ultimate goal of supporting 100 million tonnes by 2026 and 200 million tonnes by 2030.
Leading Arctic companies such as NOVATEK, Vostok Oil, Gazprom Neft, Nornickel, Baimskaya, and Severnaya Zvezda have signed commitments to move at least 30 million tonnes of cargo through the NSR this year, at least 71 million tonnes in 2024, and over 190 million tonnes in 2030. Russia has also invested 1.8 trillion rubles ($22.5 billion) in the NSR, focusing on initiatives such as developing a cargo base, building fourteen ports and terminals, expanding the fleet, creating a new satellite network, and centralizing navigation control through Rosatom.
Ships will be a key area for Russia to invest in, with up to 153 ships required in total. Rosatom plans to proceed with two more nuclear-powered icebreakers and commission four conventionally-powered icebreakers this year. According to Rosatom, 30 ships are currently in operation, with 33 under construction. Western-imposed sanctions, including equipment restrictions, haven’t slowed work, but Russia has acknowledged the challenge of replacing technologies from “unfriendly countries.” None of the major projects in the Arctic have been suspended in 2022.
Tags: Russia,Arctic,Northern Sea Route,NSR,growth,all year round,ports,shipbuilding,Putin
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