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

1. Shipping of Russian LNG to Asian market via NSR grows

The Russian company NOVATEK announces an increase of shipments of products from the Yamal LNG plant to the markets of Asian countries via the Northern Sea Route. According to the results of the third quarter of 2019, 15 tanker shipments of LNG were sent to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. This amounted to about 25% of all shipments from this plant for the quarter. At the end of 2019, it is planned to increase the volume of shipments to the Asian market by more than 4 times. This is due to the fact that all 15 Arctic tankers being built by NOVATEK for the Yamal LNG project will be commissioned by the end of the year.

At present, 13 Arc7 ice-class tankers and lower-class gas carriers transport LNG. As Lev Feodosiev, First Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of NOVATEK, noted, an increase in gas supplies via the Northern Sea Route confirms the priority of the markets of Asian countries as a strategic direction for future LNG supplies. And the further development of navigation along the NSR and the construction of LNG transshipment complexes in Kamchatka and Murmansk will optimize the company’s logistics chain.

2. The world’s most powerful icebreaker launched a nuclear plant

Reactors of the icebreaker “Arktika” have been launched. According to the press service of Rosatom company, the beginning of a nuclear chain reaction at a minimum level of power will allow control over the process in the system. After conducting the necessary tests, the reactors will be brought to the energy level of power. Then the sea trials will begin. They are scheduled for December 2019, and for 2020 – commissioning.

Arktika is the first of icebreakers of 22220 project that was ordered by Rosatom from the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg. It will be followed by icebreakers Sibir and Ural. Each of these three vessels will be equipped with reactor unit “RITM-200 “ of two nuclear reactors with a total heating capacity of 350 MW. This automatically makes them the most powerful in the world.

The vessels will be able to break ice fields up to three meters thick. Vessel’s length will be 173.3 m, width – 34 m, DWT – 33.5 thousand tons.

The task of the icebreakers is to escort vessels with hydrocarbon raw materials from the Arctic basin to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region.

3. The Russian Federal Space Agency in five years will provide climate monitoring for the Arctic

The Russian Federal Space Agency announced plans to provide all-weather monitoring of the Arctic. First of all, this will significantly increase the safety of navigation along the Northern Sea Route.

It is expected that by 2025 four Earth remote sensing radar satellites will operate in orbit, which will allow for year-round all-weather monitoring of the Arctic. To solve these hydrometeorological tasks, the Agency is going to launch into the orbit the specialized Arctic Earth remote sensing system of two devices, – the website of the space corporation reports.

4. New Russian tanker named after Admiral Lazarev

In Vladivostok, the naming ceremony for the new Arctic shuttle tanker of Sovcomflot and raising of the flag of the Russian Federation by a ship was held. The new tanker is named after the famous Russian admiral, one of the discoverers of Antarctica – Mikhail Lazarev. It is designed to service the project “Novyy Port” in the Ob Bay, implemented as part of an agreement between Sovcomflot and GazpromNeft.

According to its technical characteristics, the Arctic shuttle tanker Mikhail Lazarev is one of the most advanced and high-tech vessels in the global tanker industry. It continues a series of unique tankers of the “Shturman Albanov” type, designed for year-round transportation of crude oil from the Ob Bay.

All vessels of the series are designed for year-round operation in the conditions of the Arctic Sea Basin. They are assigned ice class Arc7, they are able to independently overcome ice up to 1.8 m thick and operate at temperatures up to –45 ° С. When designing tankers, the features of the Ob bay were also taken into account – they can freely maneuver in this shallow bay.

When constructing “Mikhail Lazarev”, the operating experience of the previous tankers of this series was taken into account. This made it possible to optimize the configuration of the ship’s power plant, increasing its efficiency in severe ice conditions.

The first three vessels of the series were commissioned in 2016, during this time they transported 9.5 million tons of oil along the Northern Sea Route. Successful experience in operating of these tankers in extreme Arctic conditions and the further development of “Novyy Port” project created the prerequisites for increasing the series.

5. Russia will increase investment in water communications infrastructure

The Russian government is going to increase funding for the activities of the national project “Northern Sea Route”, the project “Sea Ports of Russia” and the project for the development of inland waterways. This follows from the materials submitted to the State Duma by the government together with the draft budget.

So, in 2020, budget investments in the federal project “Northern Sea Route” can amount to 17.3 billion rubles, in 2021 – 29 billion rubles, in 2022 – 75.3 billion rubles.

Budget investments in the project “Sea Ports of Russia” in 2020 are provided in the amount of 34 billion rubles, in 2021 – 67.8 billion rubles, in 2022 – 35.6 billion rubles.

Investments in the project for the development of inland waterways of Russia for 2020 will amount to 51 billion rubles, in 2021 – 40.8 billion rubles (an increase of 4.4%), and in 2022 – 46.4 billion rubles.

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