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Governor comments on plans to set up Yamal-Nenetsk backbone zone

June 26, 2017, 8:19 UTC+3 SABETTA

The Russian Arctic will have eight backbone zones

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SABETTA, June 26. /TASS/. The Yamal-Nenets backbone zone, which will be organized after the state program on the Arctic’s development is adopted, will be based on implementation of transport projects of the Northern Latitudinal Railway (NLR) and on development of the Sabetta port in the Kara Sea, the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District’s Governor Dmitry Kobylkin told a meeting of the state commission.

"As of now, the Yamal-Nenets backbone zone is based on a few "anchor" positions - the Energy of Arctic transport project, which is construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway and the Bovanenkovo-Sabetta passage, as well as on development of the Sabetta port," he said.

Economic effect

The governor reported the economic effect from organization of the backbone zone and implementation of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. "Results of the previous year (2016) show 72% of the investments in the Russian Arctic were in the Yamal projects - they totaled more than one trillion rubles ($17 billion)," he said. "We are looking in the future and plan having in Yamal a center for LNG production so that the center could take 15% of the global market. The estimated resources of the Gydan Peninsula in the Arctic region are comparable with those in Yamal itself."

Northern Latitudinal Railway

The Northern Latitudinal Railway is 707 km of rail line, connecting Yamal with the Uralsk and with Russia’s North-West. The railway will also connect the national transport systems via the Sabetta seaport with the Northern Sea Route. In October, 2016, RZD (Russia’s railway giant) and government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District agreed the project of the future latitudinal railway. For RZD that would be the first concessional project ever. The governor said, the project’s cost is 240 billion rubles (about $4.2 billion). The construction beginning is scheduled for 2018. The project is to be completed in 2022.

The railway’s logical continuation is the railway corridor connecting Bovanenkovo and Sabetta - another 170 kilometers. The railway leading to Sabetta will increase the cargo turnover of Russia’s new seaport and will favor further export of Russian products to new markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.

Backbone zones in the Arctic

The federal law on development of the Arctic zone grants the status of state-governed special objects to the Russian Arctic territories. The Russian Arctic will have eight geographic backbone zones: Kola, Arkhangelsk, Nenets, Vorkuta, Yamal-Nenets, Taimyr-Turukhan, North-Yakutia and Chukotka.

The purpose for having the Arctic backbone zones is production of technical means and technologies, environmental monitoring, higher quality of life for indigenous low-number peoples, implementation of the information policy, and other priority tasks. The backbone zone’s approach will replace the earlier suggested industry-based division of the Arctic. Investors coming to these zones will enjoy tax, customs, and other benefits.

The Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District’s governor said earlier, about 40 projects may be in the District’s backbone zone.

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