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Northern Sea Routes’ cargo turnover exceeded record 6.9 million tonnes in 2016

The Northern Sea Route is the main sea route in the Russian Arctic

VLADIVOSTOK, February 13. /TASS/. The cargo turnover along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in 2016 reached a level above the previous record of 6.9 million tons, and by 2020 it may reach 31 million tons depending on development of the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye gas field and further development of Yamal’s deposits, FESCO’s (Far East Shipping Company) Head of the Fleet Department Vladimir Chabrov told TASS on Monday.

"The Ministry of Economic Development reports a record level of cargo turnover along the Northern Sea Route in 2016 - as of December 1, 2016, 6.9 million tons were transported there, which is a record in that transport corridor’s history, including the Soviet times," he said. "Due to stages of developing the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye gas field and to further development of nearby hydrocarbon deposits in Yamal, the cargo turnover may reach 31 million tons by 2020 already. The biggest part of the cargo would be raw material from the Prirazlomnoye and Port Sabetta fields."

He continued, stressing the Defense Ministry is also a big supplier of cargo to be brought to the Arctic. Every year, the ministry organizes delivery of about 400,000 tons of various construction cargoes, about 250,000 tons of goods for winter periods, and about 50,000 tons of military cargo.

"Thus, the Defense Ministry transports annually about 700,000 tons," he said.

Unique Vasiliy Golovnin

The Vasiliy Golovnin has become the most irreplaceable general cargo vessel in the Arctic and Antarctic, FESCO’s representative continued. It is a unique vessel, which can go both independently and after an icebreaker in heavy ice. It is equipped for unloading to unequipped shores.

The Northern Sea Route - the main sea route in the Russian Arctic. Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Transport forecasted cargo flow along the Northern Sea Route by 2020 may grow tenfold to 65 million tons per year. The route crosses seas of the Arctic Ocean (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukotka) and partially the Pacific Ocean (the Bering Sea). The Northern Sea Route from the Kara Gate to the Providence Bay is about 5,600 km long. The distance between Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok along the Northern Sea Route is more than 14,000 km - compare it to the distance to be covered by the Suez Canal - more than 23,000 km.