Rosatom and Norilsk Nickel agreed to pilot ships along the Northern Sea Route: results of the Arctic Day

The main task that Rosatom is solving in the Arctic is to turn the Northern Sea Route into a year-round international logistics corridor by 2030. It is also important to preserve the unique nature while developing the Arctic region. All participants of the Arctic Day forum, which took place on July 23 in St. Petersburg, agreed that it is possible to implement all those ideas only through joint efforts of state and private companies.

«Росатом» и «Норникель» договорились о проводке судов по Севморпути: итоги Дня Арктики


Opening the forum, the head of Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, read out a greeting message from the President of Russia: "Only by working together we will turn the Arctic region into a place of peace, cooperation and mutual trust." The same idea was expressed in the speech of the Deputy Chairman of the Government, Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District, Yuri Trutnev. He recalled that in 2020 the entire Russian Arctic received the status of a special economic zone: "Today, anyone who is ready to invest at least 1 million rubles in their project can become a resident and benefit from tax incentives and administrative support."

Vyacheslav Ruksha, deputy general director of Rosatom, head of the Northern Sea Route Directorate, spoke about the plans of the state corporation: to increase the freight traffic along the NSR to 80 million tons by 2024 (in 2020 it amounted to about 33 million tons) and to 110 million tons - by 2030.. This will require new ships. There are plans for two more nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220, and by the end of the year a decision shall be made to construct three or four LNG-powered icebreakers.

By the way, the motor ship "Kronstadt", on which the forum was organized, entered the territory of the Baltic Shipyard so that the participants could see the almost finished nuclear-powered ships "Siberia" and "Ural" of project 22220, as well as "Arctic" - it became part of "Atomflot" and now undergoes warranty service.

Not just icebreakers

Alexey Likhachev stressed that the development of external-industry partnership is one of the main tasks of Rosatom in the Arctic.

The key production site of Norilsk Nickel is located on the Taimyr Peninsula, so the issue of logistics and infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route is of vital importance for the company. At the forum, Rosatom and Norilsk Nickel concluded an additional cooperation agreement until 2030. The document outlines three main directions, said Sergey Dubovitsky, senior vice president, head of Strategy and Strategic Projects Management, Logistics and Resource Support at Norilsk Nickel. Firstly, contracts are planned for a period of up to 15 years on piloting ships with nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220. Secondly, Norilsk Nickel is going to start building its own diesel and LNG-powered icebreaker, and Atomflot will operate it. Thirdly, they consider the possibility of joint construction of an icebreaker to replace the retiring Taimyr, as well as a port icebreaker fleet to replace the Dudinka icebreaker owned by Norilsk Nickel.

Ambitious plans in the Arctic and at the AEON corporation. Its "daughter" Severnaya Zvezda is developing the Syradasay coal deposit in Taimyr with an estimated resource of 5 billion tons. Cargo from there will be delivered along the NSR to the countries of Southeast Asia. Rosatom and AEON have agreed on cooperation in the sphere of Arctic shipping. The agreement provides for the construction of vessels of a class not lower than Arc 5 and tugboats not lower than Arc 6 or Icebreaker 6 (Arc 5 - independent navigation in ice up to 1 m thick during summer-autumn navigation, Arc 6 - up to 1.3 m, Icebreaker 6 - implementation of icebreaking operations in non-Arctic seas with ice thickness up to 1.5 m).

Novatek is also looking forward to new icebreakers. The company plans to start year-round navigation along the NSR from 2024.

From south to north

Representatives of 20 countries, including nine ambassadors, participated in the "Arctic Day " online and in person. Even countries geographically distant from it are interested in the region. A striking example is the UAE. DP World, one of the world's largest port operators with a network of 129 subdivisions in 55 countries, has signed an agreement with Rosatom to jointly develop a plan for the development of pilot container traffic between Northwest Europe and East Asia using the supportive transport infrastructure in the Arctic. Rusatom Cargo and DP World Russia FZCO concluded an agreement on the establishment of a joint venture to implement a pilot transit project through the Northern Sea Route.

Главный исполнительный директор DP World Султан Ахмед бин Сулайем

                                                                     Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chief executive officer of DP World

“DP World undertook to invest $ 2 billion together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and we will continue to work towards finding solutions that will enable the Northern Transit Corridor to develop sustainably,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chief executive officer of DP World.

Another agreement is with the Baimskaya mining and processing plant, which is part of the Kazakh group KAZ Minerals. The Peschanka gold-copper deposit in Chukotka (the resource base of the Baimsky MPP) is one of the richest in the world, its resources are estimated at 9.9 million tons of copper. The main problem is that the plant needs up to 350 MW, the region cannot provide such capacities. According to Oleg Novachuk, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Baimskaya MPP, several supply options were considered. We came to the conclusion that nuclear power is optimal: guaranteed final price and low operating costs. Rosatom has proposed modernized floating power units, which Atomenergomash has already begun to manufacture. “It is planned to build four units: three main and one reserve, which will be used during the repair or refueling of one of the main,” said Vyacheslav Ruksha. Also, Rosatom and Baimskaya agreed that by April 2022 a long-term contract for the sale and purchase of electricity will be concluded on the basis of the take-or-pay principle.

No impacts on nature

Both top managers and scientists spoke about ecology at the forum. “Developing business and industry in the Arctic, we should remember that meeting all environmental obligations is a key issue. If the project at least in some way increases impacts on nature, it does not suit us,” stressed Alexey Likhachev.

This is confirmed by two agreements signed with leading scientific organizations. Rosatom has agreed on pilot activities for comprehensive research and monitoring of the environmental safety of the Arctic zone with the Center for Marine Research of Moscow State University named after Lomonosov. Experts will assess the consequences of anthropogenic impact on the Northern Sea Route and work out measures for its protection. Atomflot, together with the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, defined the key areas of cooperation in the framework of research activities - monitoring, assessment and forecast of the impact of shipping on the environment and biota of the Arctic and adjacent waters.

Source: Страна Росатома

Photo: Alexey Bashkirov Страна Росатома