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Arctic development state program to 2025 is based on core zones

September 10, 19:02 UTC+3 TASS

The total investments are estimated at $2,8 billion

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TASS, September 10. The Russian government extended to 2025 the program of the social and economic development of the Arctic zone. The program plans formation of eight core development zones, where for most of them mineral-resource centers would be priorities.

The total investments are estimated at 160 billion rubles ($2,790,777,773). The document is published on the government’s website.

"The key mechanisms for implementation of the program are the backbone development zones in the Arctic area of the Russian Federation - those are complex projects of the social-economic development, <…> for simultaneous use of instruments of territory and sector development, as well as mechanisms for implementation of investment projects, including in forms of public-private and municipal-private partnership," the program reads.

The zones are formed on the basis of the existing administrative and territorial dividing, transport hubs and resource bases, as well as on the plans for the social-economic development of the Arctic zone.

Mineral resource centers

A petrochemical cluster will form a base of the Yamal-Nenets core zone. The District’s deposits give now more than 80% of the Russian gas, which is a fifth part of the global gas production.

Due to the planned lower reserves at the continental fields, promising production would be in Yamal’s north, on the shelf of the Ob and Taz Bays in the Kara Sea, which would be able to compensate for the falling short resources at the deposits like Urengoi, Medvezhye, Vyngapurskoye and Yamburgskoye.

New districts of gas production will account for more than a third part of gas produced in the country, thus Russia would be able to develop the eastern export direction and to build new LNG terminals in the Arctic. The first LNG plant - Yamal LNG - is due to go operational in December of the current year in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

The District’s grows regional products (GRP) is planned at 1.8 trillion rubles ($31,406,942,433) in 2020, and due to the state program’s implementation, the District would be an international stronghold of the Arctic’s development.

The program’s authors connect development of the Kola core zone with the natural resources of the Murmansk region. In order to develop this potential, the program plans further training of qualified personnel at local educational institutions, including at the Center of Arctic Competences and at the Murmansk State Arctic University.

The program plans investments in development of the education infrastructures in the Kola core zone and says about 2,000 qualified specialists from other Russian regions will be attracted there.

The main sectors of the economy, which will provide for development of the Arctic core zone, would be shipbuilding, machinery, logistics, forestry and tourism. Besides, the program forecasts development of new directions, like production of lead, zinc and silver. The Arkhangelsk region will focus on development of the transport infrastructure to provide a full-fledged corridor for development of the Arctic.

The Taimyr-Turukhan core zone will be in the Krasnoyarsk and Norilsk regions. The Norilsk Nickel Company has been working there. The company’s polar branch produces more than 90% of Russia’s nickel, more than 40% of copper, and 98% of the platinum group’s metals. According to the document, the company plans developing projects to expand the ore base.

Besides, development of the Norilsk metallurgical center may be supported by development of deposits of the platinum group’s metals Chernogorsk and Norilsk-1 (southern part) by the Russkaya Platina (Russian Platinum) Company, as well as by development of the Maslovskoye deposit.

Further development of coal deposits is another direction for the Taimyr-Turukhan core zone. The Severnaya Zvezda (Northern Star) Company plans developing an open pit, an enriching plant, an electric plant and building a 120-km long railway line to the Dikson settlement.

The Vostok-Ugol (East-Coal) Managing Company, which has licenses for geology exploration of coal in the Taimyr coal basin, plans exporting the product to West Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region. Thus, the company considers building a coal terminal at the Dikson port, where the capacity would be ten million tonnes of coal a year.

New centers for production of hydrocarbons are also planned. Lukoil and Rosneft continue exploration in the core zone. Earlier, head of the local government Yuri Zakharinsky said if the deposits are confirmed, the core zone could export five million tonnes of oil by 2026.

Transport infrastructures

Formation of the North-Yakutia core zone is a pilot project, and the experience would be used later on throughout the Arctic zone. The focus would be made on development of transport infrastructures. It is mostly river and marine, and forms around the Northern Sea Route and the Lena basin rivers, where navigation is possible.

Under the program, the region will reconstruct ports, organize the Zhataiskaya high-tech shipyard, build new river vessels of various kinds and vessels of the river-sea class.

Besides, the region would reconstruct the regional and local airports (Cherskiy, Chokurdakh, Tiksi, Deputatsky).

Development of transport infrastructures on the basis of the Northern Sea Route, air communication and roads is also important for the Chukotka core zone. In order to improve the transport routes, the region should reconstruct regional and local airports: Zaliv Kresta, Keperveyem and Beringovsky. The aviation is the only long-distance kind of transport, which connects Chukotka with the rest of the country.

Development of the shelf

The Nenets Autonomous district will develop the continental shelf. By 2020, the production of oil and gas in the region will grow to 32-35 million tonnes [in oil equivalent]; and the industrial growth by 2030 against the level of 2007 would be by 2.5 times; the population’s real incomes would grow by 3.5 times.

However, in order to fulfil the plan, the region will have to settle the biggest problem: to eliminate the disproportion between the scale of growing industrial projects there and development of new deposits on the Arctic shelf. Thus, the District will implement a few major construction projects to build new transport lines and to develop port infrastructures.

The core zone in Komi includes the Vorkuta municipal region. Nowadays, it is a mono-industrial city and the biggest coal-producing center of the Pechora coal basin. Development of the Vorkuta core zone will bring production of coal to 21.4 million tonnes a year.

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