Deputy Prime Minister - Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev held a meeting on the development of the infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), including the organization of regular shipping container lines and coastal shipping.
This was reported by the press service of the Ministry for Development of Russian Far East.
Opening the meeting, Yury Trutnev recalled that the government pays great attention to the development of the Arctic zone of Russia.
Vladimir Putin is actively interested in the NSR, but the international community is not yet actively using this northern route.
A number of governors are already asking to expand the borders of the NSR.
It is interesting that in the summer of 2020, the St. Petersburg Committee for Arctic Affairs intended to prepare proposals from the city on the issue of fish delivery from East to West through the NSR.
At the meeting, Yury Trutnev recalled the following:
- the government pays great attention to the development of the Arctic zone of Russia;
- such strategically important documents have been adopted:
- Presidential decree "Concerning the Fundamental Principles of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic for the period up to 2035",
- "Strategy for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation",
- a new state program for the development of the region has been developed and submitted to the government,
- the laws governing Arctic business were reformed, which made the Russian Arctic the world's largest economic zone;
- work on the development of the Northern Sea Route has been activated:
- the growth in traffic volumes over the past 5 years amounted to 5.5 times,
- in 2020, the traffic volume was 33 million tons;
- the primary task is to create comfortable conditions for the life and work of people in the Arctic;
- characteristics of the Arctic region:
- harsh climate,
- low density of transport infrastructure,
- insufficient length of railways, hard-surface roads,
- sea and river transportation often becomes a single option for the delivery of goods;
- the main transport tasks of the region:
- delivery of goods to remote northern regions,
- northern delivery,
- export of resources extracted in the Arctic zone;
- According to Vladimir Putin's decree, it is necessary to increase the volume of traffic to 80 million tons per year by 2024.
Bullet points of the Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic A. Chekunkov:
- strategic task and opportunity for Russia - transformation of the NSR into an international competitive transport corridor, which will allow:
- using the advantages in distance and delivery times as transit goods between Asia and Europe,
- activating the delivery of goods between the regions of the Russian Federation, thus contributing to the development of cities, settlements and economic projects in the north of the country;
- container transportation is extremely important in this regard;
- the development of competitive transportation of container freight, including cabotage, becomes possible due to:
- development of the Russian icebreaking fleet,
- extension of the navigation period,
- measures that the government is taking to develop the NSR.
At the meeting they considered measures of state support for maritime transport between the constituent entities of the Russian Federation that are directly related to the NSR, as well as those located in the surroundings.
They discussed the formation of a regular container route in a pilot mode and the organization of cabotage transportation.
A. Chekunkov said: “It is important to implement a pilot regular route, organize cabotage transportation in order to show the whole world that it works. And, thus, to change the attitude of market participants, including stevedoring and insurance companies, to this route - not as something complicated and unusual, but to make the Northern Sea Route a standard mainstream route ”.
The proposals for the creation of a regular container route in a pilot mode were supported by the governors.
Bullet points of the Governor of the Murmansk region A. Chibis:
creation of a regular container route will allow taking into account the need of the Arctic and Far Eastern regions on the sea route from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok in modernization of the sea and coastal infrastructure with the creation of western and eastern cargo control centers along the NSR.
It was noted that container transportation along the NSR is inferior in economic efficiency to the transportation of goods through the Suez Canal, however, it has sufficient profitability to be implemented on the principles of public-private partnership and become the basis for obtaining large-scale macroeconomic benefits.
Yury Trutnev added:
- the NSR is shorter, and transportation of goods along it shall not be more expensive;
- it is possible that in order to implement this, a state program will be needed;
- the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Rosatom should analyze the cost of transportation along the NSR and submit proposals to the government that ensure a competitive cost.
Another discussion issue was the transportation of fish products from the Far East to the central regions of the country.
Bullet points of the President of the Ruscon Group S. Berezkin:
- a separate problem in transportation is the lack of reefer containers required for the transportation of fish products which is a key range of cargo from the Far East;
it makes sense to develop cabotage transportation through the creation of a regular container line along the NSR, which can be implemented with comprehensive government support and coordination of all participants in the process.
Deputy General Director of Rosatom - Director of the Directorate of the Northern Sea Route V. Ruksha:
- the state corporation organized experimental voyages of the nuclear-powered lighter carrier ship Sevmorput for the transportation of containerized fish products along the NSR:
- in 2019, 8.5 thousand tons per year were transported in reefer containers and 66 containers with other cargo from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Saint Petersburg,
- in 2020 only about 6.5 thousand tons per year in 206 reefer containers from Vostochny port and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to St. Petersburg;
- During these experimental voyages, they faced the problems that did not allow the ship owner to achieve the necessary economic efficiency of sea transportation:
- lack of constant loading from west to east for ships carrying fish from the Far Eastern Federal District to the central regions of Russia along the NSR, as a result of which the ships are forced to perform the transition in ballast,
- lack of constant loading of fish products from east to west due to the constantly changing situation on the transportation market and insufficient responsibility of shippers for refusing to send fish products along the Northern Sea Route,
- underdeveloped infrastructure of seaports next to the borders of the NSR for the simultaneous handling of bulk consignment of reefer containers.
Yury Trutnev instructed:
- the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Industry and Trade together with interested organizations to present a forecast of the need for reefer containers;
- Rosatom to submit to the government proposals on establishing the responsibility of shippers for refusal to ship along the NSR;
- the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East to consider the possibility of expanding the mechanism of "quotas in exchange for investments" to increase the volume of transportation of fish products from the Far East to the central regions of the country and stimulate the production of reefer containers.
They discussed the proposals for improving the mechanisms of northern delivery to the regions of the Far North and related places.
- Northern delivery is something on what the provision of remote regions of our country depends;
- it is necessary to look at the entire chain, all costs, all obstacles and make proposals so that this mechanism works in the interests of citizens;
- instructed the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Eastern Development to submit proposals to the government on the efficient use of northern supplies;
- instructed Rosatom to submit proposals to the government on the possible establishment of a regular schedule for sailing along the NSR;
- this schedule will allow shippers to understand in what time frame fleet are formed, so that they do not have to ask, write applications, but they could apply for an already formed fleet.
Yury Trutnev - outcomes of the meeting:
- work on the development of the NSR as an international competitive corridor will continue as planned;
- the NSR becomes:
- larger in terms of the number of transported goods,
- longer in terms of the navigation period;
- there is still a lot to be done:
- in order to implement the project,
- to make the route a truly competitive transport corridor.
The Minister for Development of the Far East and the Arctic A. Chekunkov, General Director of Rosatom A. Likhachev, Deputy General Director of Rosatom - Director of the Northern Sea Route Directorate V. Ruksha, President of Ruscon Group S. Berezkin, Deputy Executive Director for Safety of Navigation of Lenskoye United River Shipping Company M. Barbashev, Governor of the Komi Republic V. Uyba, Governor of the Kamchatka Territory V. Solodov, Governor of the Murmansk Region A. Chibis, Special Representative of Rosatom for the Development of the Arctic, Deputy Chairman of the State Commission for the Development of the Arctic V. Panov participated in the meeting.
Author: A. Shevchenko, O. Bakhtina