News review of the events on the NSR
#1 May 2019

1. Asian-European container line via NSR

“Primorskiy universal transshipment complex” company is choosing a land on the shore of the Kola Bay in Murmansk region for the construction of container terminal. The terminal is going to be the hub for transshipment of containers that go along the Northern Sea Route from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy from the vessels with high ice class to the ordinary vessels, which carry further to Europe and Russian port Primorsk in the Baltic Sea.

Thus, it is going to be the new Asian-European container line between Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Primorsk. The transshipment terminal in Murmansk region will become its final point.

“Primorskiy universal transshipment complex” suggests to implement the project by its own resources. The company states the transshipment capacity of 5 million containers per year and about 60 billion rubles of investments. In general, about 270 billion rubles should be invested in the new sea terminals of the future line.

The Head of the company, Andrey Sizov, promises to launch the first phase of the project in 2024 with a capacity of 3 million containers per year, and in the future to increase capacity to 5 million. For comparison: in 2018 all Russian ports handled 5.1 million containers.

As a result, “Primorskiy universal transshipment complex” plans to either double the sea container turnover of the country, or take a significant part of this turnover from competitors.

Furthermore, Mr. Sizov says that the future container line will be able to operate year-round, despite the main problem of the Northern Sea Route – the lack of navigation in the winter in the eastern part. According to his words icebreaking support for container ships will be provided by nuclear icebreaker “Leader”, that should be put into operation in 2030. Before that he reckons on icebreakers of 22220 project – “Arktika”, “Ural” and “Sibir” that are now under the construction at Baltic shipyard in St. Petersburg.

At the first stage, it is planned to build 8-10 container ships, their parameters are not known; several specialized institutes are involved in their preliminary design. Projects are expected to be ready by the end of September 2019, after that a decision will be made on orders for the construction of ships.

2. New tanker for Yamal LNG

The new tanker of ice class Arc7 “Nikolay Evgenov” will be the 11th in the project’s tanker fleet. The owner of the tanker is the group of companies Teekay LNG Patners and China LNG Shipment. In November of last year, Teekay reported that it would quickly deliver the tanker by June 4, 2019. The same group is constructing three more tankers for the project – “Vladimir Voronin”, “Georgiy Ushakov”, “Yakov Gakkel”.

The last tanker for the project is to be supplied by the Japanese-Chinese consortium of companies Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited. Thus, “Yamal LNG” fleet will have 15 vessels with high ice class. That was reported by Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Novatek Company, Mark Gyetvay. The company expects to receive the rest 5 tankers of ice class Arc7 by the end of 2019.

At the moment, 10 tankers are occupied with transportation of LNG from Yamal peninsula – “Christophe de Margerie”, “Boris Vilkitskiy”, “Eduard Toll”, “Fedor Litke”, “Vladimir Rusanov”, “Rudolf Samoilovich”, “Vladimir Vize”, “Georgiy Brusilov”, “Boris Davydov” and “Nikolay Zubov”.

3. Plan for LNG transshipment complex near Murmansk approved

Dmitriy Medvedev, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, approved the plan for implementation of investment project “Sea complex for LNG transshipment in Murmansk region”. The project includes the construction of two floating storages for LNG, auxiliary berth and onshore infrastructure in the Ura Bay (Kola Gulf). Estimated cost of the project is 70 billion rubles, execution deadline is year 2023.

The project is being implemented by Novatek Company for the transshipment of LNG from the Russian Arctic fields to foreign consumers. Together with this complex, the company intends to construct the same one in the Kamchatka region. The comprehensive plan for its building was approved by the order of the Russian Government on the 14th of March, 2019.

4. Data center for the NSR to appear in Murmansk

The authorities of the Murmansk region, where the icebreaking fleet of the state corporation Rosatom is based, have agreed with the corporation on a strategic partnership. Within its framework, a data processing center will be created in Murmansk for the needs of the Northern Sea Route and for the region’s industry, which is involved in the processing of minerals delivered by the NSR and companies operating in the Arctic.

5. “Ural” will be launched on May 25

The second nuclear icebreaker of 22220 project will be launched on May 25, that was reported by Rosatom Company. It is expected to receive the vessel in year 2022.

Initially, it was suggested that “Ural” to be operational in 2020. However, construction timelines were shifted later. Instead of “Ural” it is planned to put into operation in 2020 the main icebreaker of this series – “Arktika”.

Experts point out that the shifts can be explained by the fact that the project is new, and the problems with exactly following the deadlines were predictable. However, icebreakers following “Arktika” should be launched in accordance with current plans.

The icebreakers of 22220 project are being built at Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg for work in the Arctic seas.

In order to ensure consistent icebreaking in the Arctic until the entry into service of new icebreakers, Rosatomflot extended operational lifetime of Taimyr, Vaygach and Yamal nuclear icebreakers.

6. USA builds military icebreakers for Arctic

Singapore Technologies Engineering received an order from the US Navy for the construction of an icebreaking vessel at the cost of about 764 million dollars.

It is expected that VT Halter Marine, a shipyard owned by this company and located in the USA, finished the construction of the first icebreaker in 2024. Analysis of the design features of the new icebreakers has been conducted at the shipyard since 2017, and since February of this year detailed engineering studies have begun.

It is also pointed in the contract, that it is supposed to build the second and the third one after the first icebreaker. In this way, the amount of the contract may increase to 1.94 billion dollars.

If construction goes on schedule, the second and third icebreakers will be received by the US Naval Ministry in 2025 and 2027.

At the request of the US Coast Guard, new icebreaking vessels will simultaneously meet military and civilian standards. In the Arctic, they must perform national security operations, search and rescue operations, logistic and icebreaking support.

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