NSR to Face Comprehensive Development

11 april 2019

According to Vladislav Onishchenko, Head of the Analytical Center, who was speaking at the International Arctic Forum, "The goal of the Northern Sea Route development until 2035 is to create conditions for the regular traffic accompanied by the appropriate development of harbour and other infrastructure."

"We are talking about both the cargo turnover within the Arctic territories and the transit of imported goods", the expert stressed.

The problems related to harbour infrastructure, technical and icebreaking fleet development, logistics projects, cargo base, connectivity of territories are included in the NSR and coastal areas comprehensive development plan to be debated by the Government this summer.

"It is necessary to ensure not only the sea transport corridor itself, but also to link it with the country's transport arteries to allow for greater flexibility and to create an additional cargo base and help implement year-round supply and regular functioning of the NSR," Onishchenko said.

The scale of the project defines long enough terms of its implementation. At the first stage, it is necessary to ensure the "dispatching" of the NSR along its entire length, and to establish regular transport links afterwards (at the current stage year-round traffic to the West, and since 2030 along the entire length). This not only requires construction of harbours, hubs and transportation gateways, but also deals with the workforce.

"More people will work in the North," Onishchenko believes. "For example, the complete implementation of the coal mining project and coal export to the Taimyr and via to the Dikson port will require at least a three-fold increase in the number of permanent workers, even in comparison with the maximum work-force of the Soviet period." If we take into account all the personnel involved in the production, transportation and maintenance of the process, we will get about 15-20 thousand people working mainly on a rotational basis. This option has already been implemented in Sabetta.

"Once again, the program is designed for a long period during which many problems related to hydrology of the route's Eastern section, creation of meteorological stations network, piloting of vessels of different classes have to be solved," Onishchenko said. Only a comprehensive consideration of the problem will help implement major projects related to the NSR and the Arctic zone that are beneficial both for the country's economy and for the world markets connectivity.

Development and connectivity of the Arctic zone was also discussed during the session "Transport Connectivity: the Arctic, Far East, Siberia and the Urals" moderated by Vladislav Onishchenko.

Photo: Roscongress Foundation