All news

Experts: Construction terms in Arctic will remain unchanged in case of state incentives

The Ministry of Construction has been working on a legal base to allow wider use of alternative materials in the Far North

MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Russian authorities under the conditions of the Western sanctions offer new incentives to the construction sector in the Arctic regions, and the market participants are in search for new supplies and new logistics chains. The Ministry of Construction has been working on a legal base to allow wider use of alternative materials in the Far North. At the same time, Yamal offers easier terms for developers, facing complicated situations. Due to these incentives, the sanctions and the missing supplies of construction materials from Europe would not affect construction plans in the Arctic regions, experts told TASS.

Easier formalities

The Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region also offers easier formalities for companies. The local government suggested cancelling penalties on contracts that arose due to the sanctions by unfriendly states or due to restrictive measures, as well as if the inability to fulfill obligations in full has caused an increase in prices for construction materials. The suppliers, who have not fulfilled their obligations under state contracts due to the foreign sanctions or other external restrictions, will not be put on the list of unscrupulous suppliers, the regional government’s press service told TASS. The region has allowed advance payments under state contracts.

"Developers are allowed not to conduct a state examination in case of changes to the project documentation, which reflect that the developers had to replace construction resources with analogues, and the change did not lead to an increase in the estimated cost of construction by more than 30% and over 100 million rubles ($1.5 million). Otherwise, the re-examination would be free of charge and within a period not exceeding 14 working days," the press service said.

The government also admits possible higher contract costs due to the significant growth of construction materials’ prices. "The state examination has analyzed nine construction sites, where the parties have agreed contract costs using new higher prices," the press service added.

In the Murmansk Region, developers may change contract terms - for example to raise the cost against state examination’s analysis, or to have bigger advance payments, or to introduce advance payments in case this form has not been used earlier. "We have discussed ten applications from companies, that wanted to change contract terms, and we have approved such changes, which make easier work for the companies under the current conditions," the regional government’s press service told TASS.

Press service of the Nenets Autonomous Region’s administration told TASS they have not received any applications from businesses to review state contracts or to receive whatever support measures. "We have not used imported materials, and as for the logistics, nothing has changed in terms of construction materials," the press service said.

Construction materials to be replaced

Some big companies in the Arctic zone have used imported materials. According to the press service of a big developer in the Arkhangelsk region, Group Akvilon, the company has been working to replace imported construction materials, including at the sites in Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk. The changes would not affect residential complexes, which are due to be commissioned in 2022. The construction sites have all the necessary products - elevators, construction and finishing materials, and equipment. The projects, which are at initial stages, undergo corrections in terms of replacing European materials with similar products.

"We have been cooperating with at least five key Russian suppliers, we have also contacts with producers in China, Belarus, Kazakhstan," Group Akvilon’s Chairman of the Board of Directors Alexander Frolov told TASS. "The share of imported materials in our comfort-class projects is not more than 10%, in business and premium class projects - not more than 20%, and for every group of materials we have prepared analogs of earlier announced quality."

The company has made a new logistics to deliver materials under the conditions of current sanctions. "Bigger delivery terms of materials would not affect due dates to commission our projects. In case the terms are longer, we will speed up other works on the site," the press service said.

According to Boris Zhadanovsky, Executive Director of the Karelstroymechanizatsiya Company, which has started to build a 132-flat house for people that presently have to live in aging houses in Karalia’s Arctic districts, - there is not a single problem with construction materials which cannot be solved. "We have been working in the Kem District. We do not see big problems. They may emerge with the equipment - electric, plumbing, ventilation, fire control, but we will solve them. <…> We will positively build all the houses to have people move from old buildings," he told TASS.

Nor has the current situation affected the plans to renovate Norilsk (the Krasnoyarsk Region). All the works comply with the plans, Nornickel told TASS. "In making Norilsk’s renovation we have been relying from the very beginning on Russian equipment and suppliers," the company said. Under the city’s complex plan for the social and economic development to 2035, the investments will make 120.1 billion rubles ($1.8 billion). Norilsk’s administration told TASS all paperwork on the project reads the engineering equipment and materials will be only Russian-made.

Wooden housing

In response to a question about the use of building materials, which are specific to the Arctic, press service of the Russian Ministry of Construction said one of key directions is to develop wooden house construction - it is especially relevant in the Far North. The Ministry organizes research and development works, and updates regulatory and technical documents. "Besides, the Ministry of Construction jointly with the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the professional community has been developing an action plan to make a regulatory framework for the construction of wooden buildings of up to 12 floors with cross-laminated timber (CLT) and for the unconditional security of these facilities," the press service told TASS.

The ministry has specified the requirements to cement and steel, used in basements in the Far North and Arctic. The rules, regulating construction of roads and other facilities, offer special solutions in construction, including the use of composite, geo-synthetic materials and drainage bases.