News review of the events on the NSR
#1 March 2020

1. ”Sevmorput” nuclear container ship had dock repairs and went to the Arctic

In early March, “Sevmorput” nuclear container ship, belonging to Atomflot, arrived at the port of Arkhangelsk from St. Petersburg to load various general cargo destined for the “Arctic LNG -2” project.

In the port of Arkhangelsk reinforced concrete products, metal structures, electrical and construction equipment, pipes were loaded on the ship. After completion of loading operations, “Sevmorput” went to “Utrennee” field located on Gydansky peninsula in the Ob Bay. The goods will be unloaded on shore ice.

Last year, the crew made 2 voyages to the “Utrennee” field. Customers highly appreciated the ability to take on board bulk cargo and unload on an unequipped shore.

2. “North Pole” platform is under construction in St. Petersburg

A self-propelled ice-resistant platform is under construction in St. Petersburg.

The Russian government plans to revive the practice of conducting the annual drifting expeditions “North Pole”, which was interrupted in the early 2000s.

The platform’s equipment will allow conducting experiments in the Arctic that were not possible in the past, and analyzing the samples collected directly on board, and then transmitting data to the mainland in real time.

A contract for the construction was concluded between the federal agency “Roshydromet” and “Admiralty Shipyards” in 2018.

The platform should be ready for the first voyage in 2 years. It will immediately go to the Arctic. 33 researchers and 13 crew members will accommodate on board. The length of the structure is 83 meters. The platform is able to drift autonomously for two years.

3. Russian scientists develop ice forecast methodology for navigation in the Kara Sea

Specialists from Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping in St. Petersburg will develop a new method for forecasting the ice situation in the Kara Sea, that is the part of the Northern Sea Route.

“Our university, together with the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), is developing a methodology for forecasting ice conditions in the southwestern and northeastern parts of the Kara Sea,” said university rector Sergey Baryshnikov.

According to the rector, the need to develop a new high-quality methodology is associated with an increase in the intensity of shipping in this part of the NSR in 2019. Now the institute’s specialists have begun to study hydrological regimes.

4. Delays in NSR development called a threat to Russia’s national security

Failure to meet the deadlines for creating infrastructure for the Northern Sea Route is one of the main threats to Russian national security in the Arctic. This is stated in the “Fundamentals of Russian state policy in the Arctic until 2035”, signed by President Vladimir Putin.

As noted in the document, the development of the Northern Sea Route as a competitive national transport communication of Russia on the world market is one of the main national interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic.

Therefore, failure to meet the deadlines for the creation of the infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route, the construction of icebreaking, rescue and auxiliary fleets is noted as one of the main threats to national security.

As of 2020, the start of work on the creation of an integrated infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route, a hydrometeorological, hydrographic and navigation support system for navigation along the NSR, and modernization of the icebreaking fleet has already been secured.

The main infrastructure is being created as part of the federal project “Northern Sea Route”. Its main goal is to increase cargo traffic by the end of 2024 to 80 million tons. To achieve this, it is planned to build icebreakers, including the most powerful in the world today, 5 icebreakers of Project 22220, auxiliary and rescue fleet, as well as the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway and its approaches. The total financing of the project until the end of 2024 is 735 billion rubles.

Further development of the Northern Sea Route infrastructure is intended until 2035.

5. Russia creates monitoring system for the Arctic development

Far East Development Fund will become the creator of a unified statistical and information-analytical system for monitoring the development of the Russian Arctic zone.

“The Fund will also create Russia’s first digital double of the Northern Sea Route, which will become the main driver for the development of the region. It will be an information-analytical digital service based on a dynamic mathematical model. The system will take into account logistics, infrastructure, economic, environmental and other factors at the international, federal, regional and business levels, “said Alexey Chekunkov, head of the Fund, to TASS.

The service will allow the government and business to find solutions that will develop international transit and increase Russian cargo turnover in the Arctic. It will also help determine the necessary measures of state support.

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