15 Jun 2022 11:20

Novatek, Rosneft, Nornickel, Severnaya Zvezda sign binding agreements on cargo traffic via NSR in 2024 - Trutnev

ST. PETERSBURG. June 15 (Interfax) - Four key carriers along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) have signed binding agreements on ensuring cargo traffic in 2024, Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District, who also oversees the development of the Arctic, said in an interview with Interfax on the eve of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2022.

Trutnev stressed that the starting point for boosting traffic along the NSR is an outlook with a clear link to specific investment projects and legally binding documents.

"In terms of the immediate prospects, the figures for cargo traffic [along the NSR] of 80 million tonnes in 2024 are confirmed by agreements between Rosatom state nuclear energy corporation, the operator of the NSR, and companies. The four key carriers are Novatek , Rosneft , Norilsk Nickel , and Severnaya Zvezda. Given that the obligations are set, the companies understand the full level of responsibility, and the government also has no doubts about achieving the designated goals," Trutnev said.

Trutnev noted that the NSR requires the most serious and large-scale approach: "First of all, from the standpoint of competition, because thus far the volume of traffic along the NSR is less than 3% of the Suez Canal. There are several reasons, with the initial one being the climate. Yes, in recent years, warming has slightly pushed the temporary navigation corridor along the NSR, but this period is limited so far, meaning that we need as many icebreakers as possible, which only Russia can build so far."

Trutnev added that for the unimpeded passage of ships and a reduction in insurance commissions and in order to ensure safety and reliability, stable communications are required throughout the entire route, as well as accurate meteorological support, rescue and assistance points, bunkering, and railways are needed that will approach ports, as well as airports and much more.

"This is a large and complex work that is important for developing the Arctic. Currently, a large team of specialists from various agencies and companies is jointly preparing a long-term program to increase traffic along the NSR by 2030, where transit will play an important role," the deputy prime minister said.

Trutnev recalled that cargo traffic via the NSR water area last year totaled 34.9 million tonnes, with a target of 31 million tonnes.