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Price tag to reconstruct two Arctic airports nearly $5 mln

Reconstruction of two airports in the Murmansk region will be a key stage in development of the local transport infrastructure, according to the authorities

MURMANSK, April 24. /TASS/. MURMANSK, April 24. /TASS/. Rebuilding two airports in the Murmansk region will be a key stage in developing local transport infrastructure. The regional government told TASS this will be a part of a project to develop the region’s planned transport-logistics cluster project.

Investing in air routes

The reconstruction of the international airport in Murmansk would take priority. Here modernization would be shouldered by the federal budget and private investors.

The proprietors will invest about 280 mln rubles (about $4.9 mln) into the Murmansk airport’s modernization program over the next five years. First investments will be made in a fleet of specialized vehicles.

The Khibiny airport in Apatity will be under reconstruction for three years (2017-2020), to better handle the rising flow of passengers and cargo in the central and southern parts of the Murmansk region, as well as tourists going to the Khibiny ski resort. The project will include redoing the terminal and of the port’s infrastructures, and the international terminal, the engineering facilities, as well as upgrading machines and equipment.

Transport hub

In addition to modernizing the airports, other transport spheres will also be developed north of the Polar Circle. The region’s biggest logistics project is the Murmansk transport hub - the program began a few years ago. The transport hub will offer a year-round deepwater center for reloading of liquid (oil, oil products and liquefied natural gas) and other (coal, fertilizers, ferrous ore and other concentrates) cargoes, containers, construction cargo, supplies to Arctic deposits and industrial centers, which are located along the Northern Sea Route. The hub will be integrated into international transport corridors North-South and West-East.

The project’s other objectives are developing infrastructure and industrial facilities for navigation along the Northern Sea Route and for expanding passenger infrastructure in the area of air, road and railway transport.

Under the project, along with new or upgraded transport infrastructure, other vast construction plans are related to coal and oil terminals west of the Kola Bay and a container terminal on the Eastern shore. The construction of a coal terminal is to be synchronized with the organization of railway infrastructure on the western shore of the Kola Bay - thus, reloading dusty cargo will be relocated from the western shore, where Murmansk residential areas are. The Kola Bay’s oil reloading complex will allow exporting not raw oil, like at present, but oil products with higher added value. Constructing a container terminal is necessary for the development of transit services along the Northern Sea Route.

"Reconstruction of the existing and construction of future facilities of port infrastructures will improve the port’s throughput capacity and thus the cargo turnover by 2025 will reach 70 million tonnes a year," the regional government said.

Renovated marina

Other important facilities within the Murmansk transport hub are the modernized Murmansk marine station and the pier for long voyages. The wharf was renovated in January 2015 being elongated by 59m to 206.6 meters, and widened another 6 meters to 19.6 meters so now it can serve passenger vessels which are more than 180m long, 25m high and which draft is almost six meters. The project’s cost was 746.8 mln rubles (about $13 mln).

The marine station re-opened on the day Murmansk celebrated its 100th anniversary in October 2016. Following the renovation, the station’s square doubled to 3,462 square meters. The reconstruction cost was 461.23 million rubles (about $8 million). The region’s authorities have already voiced the forecast that more tourists will take cruise voyages.