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Northern Sea Route requires port infrastructure, skilled personnel — FESCO

February 13, 18:10 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK

Development of deposits and of the Arctic-related projects as well requires modernization of neighboring transport facilities, connected to the Northern Sea Route

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© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, February 13. /TASS/. Certain factors hinder development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), FESCO (Far East Shipping Company) Head of the Fleet Department Vladimir Chabrov told TASS on Monday.

Those factors are the week port infrastructure, lack of repairing and refueling bases, high costs of icebreaker’s exploration, shortage of trained personnel, and others, he said. While in the Arctic’s western part some projects on NSR development have begun, in the eastern part this work is at the very beginning.

"Besides, low-efficient emergency-rescue services, poor communication, insufficient information infrastructures, and so forth," he added.

Uneven development

He named several developing projects in the western part: port and airport Sabetta in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, and Novy Port in the Gulf of Ob, sustainable work of Norilsk Nickel, and development of the Prirazlomnoye field in the Sea of Pechora.

"At the same time, in the eastern area during this year’s navigation we have only reconstruction of piers at the port of Pevek, which had been planned for recent three years, and thus cases up to 3-day delays for vessels at anchorage," he said. "Shelf development projects in the Eastern district are now only at the level of geophysical research."

Adjacent infrastructure

Development of deposits and of the Arctic projects requires modernization of neighboring transport facilities, connected to the Northern Sea Route. In the west, the priorities have been highlighted, while on the east, from vessels have to go ten days to get from Cape Dezhnev to nearest possible fueling ports of Vladivostok and Nakhodka - five times longer. Another Far East ports - Anadyr, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Magadan, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - are limited in kinds and amounts of fuel, and the prices there are higher. There, development of infrastructures adjacent to NSR is also vital, though as yet there are no big projects in that sphere.

"As similar situation is with drinking water supplies - the water pipe in Pevek was damaged in 2014, and nowadays vessels, working in the eastern part of NSR, are practically unable to restock fresh water," he said.

The Northern Sea Route - is the main sea route in the Russian Arctic. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Transport forecasted cargo flow along the Northern Sea Route by 2020 may grow tenfold to 65 million tons per year. The route crosses seas of the Arctic Ocean (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukotka) and partially the Pacific Ocean (the Bering Sea). The Northern Sea Route from the Kara Gate to the Providence Bay is about 5,600 km long. The distance between Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok along the Northern Sea Route is more than 14,000 km - compare it to the distance to be covered by the Suez Canal - more than 23,000 km.

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