Rosatom to suggest Northern Sea Route infrastructure expansion plan in early 2019
© RIA Novosti. Pavel Lvov

Rosatom to suggest Northern Sea Route infrastructure expansion plan in early 2019

Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation will be ready to suggest a plan for expanding the entire Northern Sea Route infrastructure that would aim to create an "ice road" in the Arctic and implement Arctic projects, said Vyacheslav Ruksha, director of Rosatom's Northern Sea Route directorate.

In December 2017, members of the Security Council instructed Rosatom to predict Arctic freight traffic volumes for the next five to 10 years and to submit an action plan for expanding the local infrastructure and the icebreaker fleet, he said.

"We should understand that this mostly involves production of natural resources and their exports. This is important for accomplishing domestic tasks and facilitating deliveries to foreign markets, primarily the Asia-Pacific market. Hopefully, we will submit the overall infrastructure expansion plan in the first quarter of 2019 at the latest," Ruksha told participants in a plenary meeting of a dialogue forum on the Arctic's sustained development.

The Arctic's freight traffic may reach 80 million metric tons by 2024, and efforts to ensure unimpeded navigation are an ambitious task that remains to be accomplished, he recalled. Powerful ships and the Arctic icebreaker fleet are needed for this purpose.

"Everyone needs to understand the goal of this work. The Ministry of Transport and its agencies have to draft legislation and compile standards… Our task is to create an ‘ice road,' making it possible to expand serious Arctic projects in adverse conditions," Ruksha added.

Earlier, the media reported that Rosatom's incipient Northern Sea Route directorate will implement the state policy and strategy for developing the Northern Sea Route, interact with regions and state agencies, manage development projects including the infrastructure, set goals and monitor efforts to attain key corporate performance indicators, and provide state functions and services.