The agreement — also signed by Russian Direct Investment Fund, Rosatom and Norilsk Nickel — outlines a study of the commercial options for the use of the NSR.
Global port operator DP World has signed an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and nickel and palladium producer Norilsk Nickel to jointly implement a project for the integrated development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR).
The agreement, signed Thursday during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, outlines a comprehensive study of the most effective commercial options for the use of the NSR.
In a series of tweets, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (pictured above), DP World Group chairman and CEO, said, “We aim to increase the volume of freight traffic through the NSR and the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. To do this, we’ll need to design and construct an additional ice-class fleet and icebreakers, as well as port infrastructure. We are also taking the environment incredibly seriously and are committed to protecting these maritime routes as freight traffic grows there.”
In the first stage, the parties will have to develop a strategy to increase the efficiency of the use of the NSR and determine ways of developing transit traffic, DP World said in the announcement. The focus will be on the linear transportation of containers and other bulk cargo and the study will try to determine the amount of funding for the design and construction of an additional ice-class fleet, icebreakers and port infrastructure.
The parties agreed to create a working group to conduct an analysis and prepare a feasibility study for the project within six months. A decision on the next stage of the project will be made subject to completion of the analysis and feasibility study, DP World said.
“We see enormous potential in NSR and look forward to creating new successes with our partners,” bin Sulayem said in the announcement.
Last August, Maersk announced the 3,596-TEU Venta Maersk — one of seven new ice-class ships deployed in Baltic feeder services operated by Maersk’s Seago Line — would make a trial run through the Arctic Ocean en route from Vladisvostok to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Fitch Ratings in March noted global warming could result in more ship traffic through the Arctic Ocean. Buddy Custard, president and CEO of the Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network, said in a recent commentary for American Shipper that the emergence of the Arctic could be a viable option for shipping between North America, Asia and Europe.