22 Apr 2024 12:40

Belarusian investors sign agreement to construct port in Murmansk

MURMANSK. April 22 (Interfax) - The Murmansk Region government and the Arctic Gate Marine Terminal LLC, established by Belarusian investors, have signed an agreement to construct a terminal for the transshipment of Belarusian cargo.

The ceremony took place on Monday at the Regional Management Center, an Interfax correspondent reported.

The parties have not yet disclosed the planned volume of investments.

"Together with our colleagues, we must now calculate [the investment amount] together; this is a lot of money and a big port," Murmansk region Governor Andrei Chibis said to reporters after signing the agreement.

General Director of the Arctic Gate Marine Terminal Andrei Bunakov said that private capital has been attracted for the construction of the port.

"It's probably too early to talk about the cost of the project, but the transshipment volumes that we expect to provide for in the design solution are up to 25-30 million tonnes per year (...) We estimate that the first cargo should arrive in 2028," Bunakov said.

The construction of a port in the ice-free Kola Bay is "an expansion of the export potential of both the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation," he said. The port is planned for multimodal use with the possibility of accommodating a container terminal. It will handle bulk cargo as well as petroleum products.

The regional governor also emphasized the importance of the construction of a new port in Murmansk, including for the development of the western shore of the Kola Bay and increasing the capacity of the railway. "These are new jobs and investments in our economy; this is additional work not only for those who will work in the port, but also for those who will build the port. My colleagues and I said that all interested and qualified companies in the Murmansk region should participate and work at this construction site," Chibis said.

Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko, during negotiations with his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Mishustin on April 16, announced that Belarus had begun setting up a port in the Murmansk region.

Marine Terminal Arctic Gate LLC was registered on April 1 with an authorized capital of 180 million rubles in the village of Mishukovo (Kola District) on the western shore of the Kola Bay (near Murmansk). Belarusian company Logistic Energy LLC owns 99% of the new company, while the other 1% is owned by Belarusian citizen Nelly Malyarova. Andrey Bunakov, also a citizen of Belarus, became the general director of the terminal.

A source familiar with the plans of the Belarusian side told Interfax that the "Arctic Gate" is the result of two years of negotiations between Russia and Belarus on the creation of a specialized terminal near Murmansk.

Belarus previously announced plans to build a port near Murmansk which would be a terminal for transshipment of Belarusian mineral fertilizers with a capacity of 5-7 million tonnes per year.

A delegation from the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus came to Murmansk to study sites for port infrastructure in February 2023. "We are interested not only in a global sense in the port specifically for potash fertilizers, but also in principle for the Belarusian cargo flow - both for export and import," then Deputy Transport Minister of Belarus Natalya Aleksandrovich said.