All-season Arctic research platform to cost 7 billion rubles
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Astapkovich

All-season Arctic research platform to cost 7 billion rubles

It will cost an estimated 7 billion rubles to design and build an all-season Arctic research platform, Russia's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi told RIA Novosti.

"The project's first stage includes an independent price and technological audit. We're currently working on this with the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities," Donskoi noted.

He said the new platform would elevate the Arctic and Antarctic research programs to entirely new levels, and that it would improve the scientists' working conditions and safety standards.

"Under a project being drafted by the ministry together with the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet), the all-season research platform will have a very durable hull, enough fuel for two to three years and a service life of about 25 years," the minister said.

He noted that the warmer Arctic climate made it harder to establish North Pole drifting stations, and that this was the main reason behind the self-propelled research platform.