In the last 25 years, the ice cover in the Arctic has tripled. Ice class vessels begin sailing along the NSR as early as February or March. The route is in demand not only among Russian carriers, but also among foreign ones, because only two routes connect Europe and Asia by water: through the Suez Canal and along the Northern Seas. According to Yuri Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District, the Suez Canal is less reliable due to its narrow passage. In short, an economic-geographical movement towards the north of Russia is necessary.
– All infrastructure deficiencies in the Arctic are included in the development plan of the Northern Sea Route and, step by step, we will systematically turn them into advantages. In any case, the NSR will become what it is now – a global transport corridor, Yuri Trutnev is sure.
In 2024, freight traffic along the NSR should reach 80 million tons, in 2030 – 150. And in general, despite the decline in international traffic (which has still recovered by half this year), An annual and constant increase in freight traffic is observed. Last year, 34 million tons of cargo were transported along the Northern Sea Route, and in 2014 only four million. In essence, the NSR will constitute an alternative to the Eastern railway section, which includes the Krasnoyarsk, East Siberian, Transbaikal and Far Eastern railways.
For the further development of maritime navigation in the Arctic, it is necessary to know exactly the volume of cargo traffic expected for the next decade and to build a fleet for this, including an auxiliary one, it was said at the WEF 2023 session “World Transport Route from North”. Goods move not only from east to west, but also from west to east, said Sergei Ivanov, special representative of the Russian president for environmental, ecological and transport issues.
The task is to create a port and a rescue fleet, which do not yet exist in the Arctic. Currently, 50 vessels are being built, including auxiliary ones, and 78 are planned until 2035.
“The Zvezda shipyard will play an important role in this production,” says Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Viktor Evtukhov. – You can build almost all types of ships.
A few weeks ago, the world’s first gas carrier powered by gas engine fuel, created on behalf of Sovcomflot, was launched at the shipyard. Previously, the company built a tanker truck that works in a similar way.
There is currently no cellular communication in the Arctic. Weather monitoring stations are also needed.
– The Ministry of Natural Resources should create a register of environmental requirements, including for foreign ships that, in theory, have the right to navigate the NSR. These rules should be draconian and we should not be interested in the opinions of foreign partners, says Sergei Ivanov.
For the further development of maritime navigation in the Arctic, it is necessary to know exactly the volume of cargo traffic expected for the next decade and to build a fleet for it.
Existing port facilities in nearby cities also depend on transport along the Northern Sea Route. Thus, in accordance with the development plan of the NSR, Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) is implementing a strategic project to create a transport and logistics center in the East based on the Vladivostok sea trade port. A berth up to 16 meters deep will be built there, where the icebreaker fleet will be based.
– But there are some difficulties with ship repair. And now, on the basis of the same port of Vladivostok, we will install a floating dock, in which we intend to repair both our own ships and those brought. I think this is also relevant for partners working on the Northern Sea Route,” says Arkady Korostelev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FESCO.
The Northern Sea Route extends west to Murmansk, the port of Lavna, which is expected to open to rail traffic in December, another component of the NSR infrastructure.
Infographic “RG” / Rafael Zaripov
– Next year we will begin to fulfill the task of increasing the volume of cargo transshipment, and we will have a base volume of 18 million tons in 2025. By 2030, the cargo volume in the port of Lavna is expected to reach 34 million of tons. In addition to the development of the construction of Arctic class ships. And this will be our contribution to the infrastructure,” says Evgeniy Dietrich, general director of the State Transport Leasing Company JSC.
He also stated that the Northern Sea Route should become a testing ground for drones, for example, in the interests of cartography and geodesy specialists. The drones will help monitor ice conditions, conduct environmental monitoring and transfer some materials from shore to ship. Well, cargo drones can be used to deliver cargo from ships to the Arctic coast.
On the territory and in the waters of the Arctic region there are several thousand potentially dangerous objects that can become sources of man-made emergencies. In the last five years, 42 emergencies have occurred in the region, which has had important social and economic consequences. The infrastructure of the Ministry of Emergency Situations is needed here, and the department is working to create several emergency rescue complexes in the Arctic.
– The first is in Sabetta (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug), where the port and the liquefied natural gas plant are located, the second is in Dikson in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the third is in Yakut Tiksi, the fourth is in Pevek in Chukotka. . This will make it possible to effectively control the operational situation and increase the level of security of the population living in hard-to-reach places in the Arctic, says Daniil Martynov, advisor to the Russian Minister of Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Disaster Relief. .
The Russian government has allocated 18 billion rubles to the purchase of 13 helicopters for the Arctic services of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The Ministry of Eastern Development allocated 238 million rubles for the needs of rescuers, including the construction of an Arctic Rescue Center in Pevek.
The Arctic zone is approximately 30 percent of the country’s territory. By one estimate, Arctic production accounts for 15 percent of the country’s GDP. This is the largest preferential zone. Between 2.4 and 2.5 million people live in northern Russia, or 1.6 percent of the country’s population.