Extended Session of the NSR Public Council. Big Northern Sea Route: New Global Traffic Lane
The Northern Sea Route is gaining development momentum
Last year was marked by continued good trends and good Northern Sea Route transportation statistics. Most analysts and professionals are clear about the irreversible nature of these trends, which naturally makes us all happy — Sergey Frank, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sovcomflot.
The Northern Sea Route has become an important connection between Asia and Russia, north-western Europe, North America, and other territories surrounding the Arctic Ocean. The Northern Sea Route is more efficient for customers and clients and ensures a strengthening of economic cooperation. The Northern Sea Route could potentially reduce travel times between Europe and Asia by 10 days over the traditional route — Jiqiang Weng, Vice President of Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers.
We have enjoyed fantastic dynamics in recent years, given the complexity of this issue. We have managed to preserve the schedule of all major infrastructure developments — Sergey Frank, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sovcomflot.
Northern Sea Route development should take place with the involvement of foreign partners
It is very important for us to complete the work that was begun there for the creation of international alliances. We do not see any other way to develop northern logistics, other than by uniting our efforts with Russian private companies and with international players, regardless of ownership types — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
We must also be sensible of the fundamental prerequisites for the Northern Sea Route to move on from being a very good, efficient transport route for national projects, especially those related to the production of hydrocarbons and rare metals, to its potential role as an international logistics route. All of the fundamental changes in the market, obviously, indicate that the demand is there — Sergey Frank, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sovcomflot.
Ecological compliance is the main priority for the development of the Northern Sea Route
It is important that we preserve all aspects of the fragile nature of the Arctic – including ice movement and power systems, and providing for all of the points that we create or reload within the territory of the Great Northern Sea Route. [...] Ecology is a key factor in any decision made — Alexey Likhachev, Director General, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.
At present, the NSR is perceived as a threat to the environment, and this must be taken seriously. [...] The installation of infrastructure for the mandatory utilization of captured CO₂ will make the NSR not only the shortest, but also the most environmentally friendly route from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This will make Russia a leader in terms of ship emissions and negate any arguments against the NSR — Felix H. Tschudi, Chairman, Tschudi Group.
Cargo transportation dependence on climate and weather conditions
We need to monitor ice conditions and provide on-site processing to calculate the most efficient routes and steer clear of difficult ice conditions — Vladimir Panov, Special Representative for the Development of the Arctic, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM; Deputy Chairman, State Commission for the Development of the Arctic.
The navigation period for commercial vessels traversing the Northern Sea Route is usually limited to the period between July and October each year. However, in order to satisfy all cargo transportation needs, we hope to expand the window of cargo transportation in cooperation with Rosatom and Russian ports — Jiqiang Weng, Vice President of Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers.
Risks associated with an absence of the necessary infrastructure
Transportation along the Northern Sea Route should not be a heroic deed, it should be a service – a commercial service that is safe, profitable, fast and, in the long term, regular and predictable — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
Insufficient manpower to ensure shipping
Initially, we will need up to two thousand sailors to work on high-tech ships and gas carriers to work in the harsh conditions of the Arctic on the Northern Sea Route. And there will have to be highly qualified teachers and a qualified educational base created by the state to train them — Evgeniy Ambrosov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Director for Marine Operations, Shipping and Logistics, NOVATEK.
Transition to year-round navigation
If we look at the last forty years of observations, from 1980 to 2020, we can see the following trends, already clearly established: a decrease in ice cover in summer-autumn by about two times, and for the winter-spring period, a change in ice cover of about 10%. […] Year-round navigation is becoming possible — Vladimir Panov, Special Representative for the Development of the Arctic, State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM; Deputy Chairman, State Commission for the Development of the Arctic.
We plan to start year-round navigation along the Northern Sea Route in January 2024. Naturally, I would consider this the NSR event of the century — Evgeniy Ambrosov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Director for Marine Operations, Shipping and Logistics, NOVATEK.
Infrastructure project development along the Northern Sea Route
For us, the development of the Northern Sea Route is not only the development of a road, it is also the development of coastal infrastructure, it is the synchronization of the development of investment projects, and the creation of latitudinal approaches - the President of Russia also spoke about this - the completion of the Northern Latitudinal Passage, the second stage, so that the coast and the sea would turn this road into a highway — Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
We expect approximately 21–22 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas to be transported eastward to the markets of Southeast Asia. And to ensure this transportation and its stability and to create a market, the decision was taken to create a port in Kamchatka for the transhipment of liquefied natural gas — Evgeniy Ambrosov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Director for Marine Operations, Shipping and Logistics, NOVATEK.
Preparing the necessary base to train sailors
As part of our fleet renewal programme, a new simulator and training centre for navigators has been opened for the purpose of improving competence in fleet management on the Northern Sea Route — Arkady Korostelev, President, Chairman of the Management Board, FESCO.