Russia’s minister of natural resources is predicting that cargo shipping in the country’s northernmost territorial waters will exceed 80 million tons by 2024.
“We started with only five million tons of cargo annually just a few years ago, and today we are seeing shipments of up to 35 million tons annually – but the potential capacity is much, much greater than that,” Dmitry Kobylkin recently told the leading Russian newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Kobylkin went on to explain that the bulk of the cargo shipped through the Arctic route is currently implemented by the country’s mineral resources sector.
He then urged the government in Moscow to provide the Arctic route with significant new state-funded investment.
“Corporations working in the Arctic need state support and state authorities should shoulder the costs of creating the necessary infrastructure, including dredging operations, building and connecting ports, and maintaining air services.
“One rouble invested in Arctic projects will attract 15 roubles of business.”
Last month, Russia’s environment ministry released a broad plan on mineral resources perspectives in the Arctic region.
The plan – which includes 118 projects – focuses on processing LNG, oil and minerals, and how they can be shipped along the Northern Sea Route.
It also includes proposals on developing shipbuilding and tourism
The projects will be implemented by 2030 at a total cost of 10 trillion roubles (US$163 billion).
Russia’s Arctic shipping route provides the shortest maritime link between the European parts of the country with its Far East regions – passing through the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea, and partially the Bering Sea in the Pacific Ocean.