Ministry of Transport to fulfil Putin’s May executive order on Northern Sea Route development
The Russian Transport Ministry is drafting a combined plan for the development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to implement President Vladimir Putin's May executive order that calls for developing the NSR and increasing its annual freight traffic volume to 80 million metric tons by 2024. The ministry has already received comments following interdepartmental coordination, ministry sources told RIA Novosti.
Earlier, the Kommersant newspaper noted that the document included virtually all the projects stipulated by the state and investors. According to its sources, however, this plan does not provide for sufficient amount of icebreakers and lacks details. Also, some mining and infrastructure projects mentioned in the plan have already been revised.
"Indeed, this plan is being drafted and coordinated by various departments. The Ministry of Transport has already received comments from a number of departments," Ministry of Transport sources noted but declined to give any details.
According to the newspaper, the list includes 19 projects with deadlines for implementation and details of those responsible for carrying out the tasks. For some of the projects, volumes and sources of funds are outlined. Construction of the Arctic LNG 2 plant by Novatek is the most ambitious project that will cost 103.8 billion rubles. When completed, the plant will produce 21.6 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas.
The newspaper pointed out a number of shortcomings in the plan, including the failure to mention an additional two LK-60 class icebreakers needed to escort hydrocarbon tankers along the Northern Sea Route because these ships are scheduled to be completed after 2024.