All news

Gas processing plant, rail line to Northern Sea Route planned in Komi Region's Vorkuta

Accoridng to Komi Region's Governor Vladimir Uiba, the Arctic is a strategically important territory, and the state support for it will be systematic

SYKTYVKAR, June 17. /TASS/. A gas processing plant with the estimated cost of 200 billion rubles ($2.25 billion) is planned in the polar Vorkuta town in the Komi Region. Another strategic project is the construction of a railway line from Vorkuta towards the Northern Sea Route (NSR) - it will cut shipment costs by 2 - 3 times for the Northern Supplies to the Taymyr Peninsula, the region's Governor Vladimir Uiba said in an investment address.

"In 2023, was an important federal-level decision to put Vorkuta on the list of the Russian Arctic Zone's backbone settlements," the governor said. "That is, it is a strategically important territory, and the state support for it will be systematic. By now, a master plan has been developed for the Vorkuta agglomeration, and this will allow attracting funds from the federal budget and from investors, including for the key projects Vorkuta has never heard about earlier. One of them is the construction of the Vorkuta gas processing plant, where investments are about 2 billion euros, that is, 200 billion rubles. This will be a completely new industry and about 2,500 new jobs."

Komi authorities have proposed another unique project to the federal government, he continued. "Vorkuta now is a [transport] dead end, although it has excellent opportunities to become a transport hub, it is just 200 kilometers [of railway to be built] to have rail get to Ust-Kara [to the Kara Sea] and thus to access the Northern Sea Route. Investments - 20 billion [rubles] ($224 million), but the total amount of repayable funds is difficult to imagine. This way we will turn Vorkuta from a dead-end single-industry town into a transport hub, using which will be 2-3 times cheaper than to use current options to NSR. Therefore, we have undertaken all formalities on these two very global areas - the gas processing complex and the transport hub. These materials have been included into Vorkuta's master plan," he said.

Airport upgrade and backbone towns

Komi's earlier socio-economic development program planned federal funds to solve another long-standing problem of Vorkuta - to renovate the worn-out Usinsk water pipeline, which supplies water to Vorkuta and neighboring villages. Vorkuta's airport is due to be transferred to federal ownership and upgraded.

"Not only the railway, the Vorkuta air hub will also cut significantly delivery costs for the Northern Supplies to the Taymyr. The current delivery method via Krasnoyarsk is 2-3 times more expensive than a route using Vorkuta's airport. To do this, we need to upgrade the airport and to create modern conditions for such a transport hub," he added.

Russia will have a list of key settlements - 2,000 settlements across the Russian Federation, including 20 settlements in the Komi Region - Syktyvkar, Usinsk, Ust-Tsilma, Pechora, Izhma, Koigorodok, Kortkeros, Obyachevo, Vizinga, Troitsko-Pechorsk, Usogorsk, Ust-Kulom, Vorkuta, Vorgashor, Vuktyl, Inta, Ukhta, Emba, Sosnogorsk, Mikun.

"We have selected and declared [cities] to be put on the list in compliance with the criteria defined by Russia's Ministry of Economic Development. Backbone cities will have long-term socio-economic development plans with financial support from the federal budget. The main task is to create necessary infrastructures, to create jobs, to diversify the economy and to bring life in this region to a higher standard," the governor said in conclusion.

Vorkuta is a polar coal-mining single-industry town in Komi, where the population is about 57,000 people, and about 6,000 local residents are employed with Vorkutaugol - part of AEON Corporation's Russian Energy - Russia's one of the biggest producers of coking coal, used in metallurgy.