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Rosatom to enter market of commercial transshipment via Northern Sea Route in 2027

It will provide a transit corridor between Northern Europe and East Asia

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russia’s state corporation Rosatom plans to start large-scale transshipments between Northern Europe and East Asia via the Northern Sea Route in 2027, according to the website dedicated to the company’s procurements.

Rosatom has initiated the Northern Sea Transit Corridor project, the documents said. The aim is to expand the transit potential of the Northern Sea Route. Its development is planned through providing transshipment services along the Northern Sea Route via transit ports — the hubs on Russia’s western and eastern borders. "The start of commercial operation of the Northern Sea Transit Corridor (start of shipments) is planned for 2027," the documents read.

There are plans to estimate the prospects of the Northern Sea Transit Corridor’s development in the period between 2027 and 2050 through a marketing research, with a respective tendering procedure having already been launched. The preferred bidder will have to provide several scenarios (base case, worst case and best case) for the potential size of the Northern Sea Transit Corridor’s market in terms of cargo base, freight forwarders and carriers. It will also evaluate the prospects for moving the flow of cargoes from the Southern Sea Route via the Suez Canal to the Northern Sea Route. Moreover, it will have to draft the most efficient marketing development strategy for the Northern Sea Transit Corridor.

According to the documents, regular marine traffic along the Northern Sea Route is already underway. However, it has to do mainly with the transportation of construction cargoes and exports from Arctic mining projects (Novatek, Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil), whereas the transit potential of the Northern Sea Route remains untapped.

The development plan for the Northern Sea Route has already been submitted to the Russian government, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Krutikov said earlier. The document was revised after Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, following the meeting of the state commission on the Arctic development on July 25, recommended that Rosatom should focus more on infrastructure for the Northern Sea Route, rather than solely on the issues of construction and operation of icebreakers.

In December 2018, Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) passed a bill vesting Rosatom with authority to develop the Northern Sea Route. The bill provides for Rosatom’s determining a subordinate enterprise authorized to agree on permission on navigation along the Northern Sea Route. Moreover, the state corporation will make concessionary agreements on Russia’s behalf regarding seaport infrastructure facilities located in onshore areas of the Northern Sea Route as well as will design and construct buildings.

The Northern Sea Route is the main marine shipping route in Russia’s Arctic. It passes along Russian northern shores across Arctic seas. The route integrates European and Far Eastern ports of Russia, as well as navigable river outlets in a single transport system. Its length is 5,600 km from the Kara Strait to the Providence Bay.