Russia examines plans to build Arctic port


The Russian government is examining the possibility of building a new cargo and container port on the Arctic coast.

The proposed port would be built on unused land formerly used by the Ministry of Defence and would be operated within the framework of the Northern Sea Transit Corridor project, Russia’s project to ease trade through the Arctic.  

The port would be predominantly owned and operated by RUSATOM CARGO LLC, Russia’s largest engineering, energy and technology companies.

It would act as a transport and logistics hub, where containers are transported from ordinary ships to ice-class ships and vice versa.

The Governor of Murmansk Andrey Chibis met Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Timur Ivanov 24 August 2020 to discuss the potential port, and how it would fit in with existing plans to develop the region, which include energy and chemical plants.

Arctic shipping, often referred to as the Northern Sea Route (NSR), has become more appealing in recent years with the aforementioned melting of sea ice.

Estimates suggest the NSR could cut voyage time from Asia to Europe by 40% and allow shippers to bypass traditional routes, such as the Suez and Panama Canals and the Cape of Good Hope.

However, there are significant concerns regarding the safety and connectivity of vessels in a region as remote as the Arctic.

Combined with the possible threat to the environment, this has resulted in several of the largest carriers, including CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and MSC to also vow to not use the NSR.

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