The Russian Government adopted a law defining the powers of the Rosatom State Corporation in the development and operation of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and adjacent territories. The law was prepared in order to implement a government initiative to create an infrastructure operator for the Northern Sea Route based on a state corporation.
The document combines a number of competencies, including in the field of shipping, navigation safety, development of port and energy infrastructure in the NSR waters and adjacent territories, as well as the providing of necessary services, within the framework of one infrastructure operator – Rosatom.
In particular, it is proposed that Rosatom will be the chief manager and recipient of budget funds, the main administrator for budget revenues and the state customer of state programs for the development and sustainable operation of the NSR, infrastructure of the NSR seaports, as well as providing navigation and year-round pilotage within the NSR.
The authority for the legal regulation of navigation on the NSR, the fulfillment of international obligations, control and supervisory functions, including the approval of standards and requirements related to the safety of navigation and others, are belonged to the Ministry of Transport.
According to this document, Rosatom will determine the subordinate enterprise authorized to coordinate the permission for navigation of vessels in the NSR water area. Rosatom will also act as the grantor on behalf of the Russian Federation and enter concession agreements related to the infrastructure of the seaports along the NSR, as well as design and construction buildings, including structures of a high level responsibility, capital construction facilities, related to the infrastructure of the NSR seaports.
Deputy Director of Rosatom and Director of the Directorate of the Northern Sea Route Vyacheslav Ruksha noted that the law sets the key powers of the structures responsible for the integrated development of the Northern Sea Route.
“We expect the law to be approved as soon as possible in the Federation Council and signed by the President. This will allow us to proceed to the final formation of the management structure for fulfilment of the powers of the Rosatom to organize the vessels navigation on the NSR, as well as to develop its infrastructure by all interested parties”, the Ruksha stated in the press service of the state corporation.
About the Northern Sea Route
The main direction of development of the Northern Sea Route is related to the export of mineral raw materials and it is directly dependent on the implementation of investment projects for the extraction of mineral resources (Varandey, “Yamal LNG”, Dikson, Novyy Port, Dudinka, Norilsk – together 15 existing and promising projects, 11 of them are related to the development of oil and gas, four – ores and coal).
In 2016, the cargo volume along the Northern Sea Route was 7.5 million tons. By 2020, the planned increase in the capacity of the ports of the Arctic Basin will be about 40 million tons (due to projects which are already underway in the ports of Sabetta and Murmansk).