Rosatom Aims to Achieve Year-Round Navigation of Northern Sea Route by 2030

All parts of Russia’s frozen Northern Sea Route Year-round navigation, including its eastern section, will be available to the country by 2030, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom has said, according to Kommersant.

By that time, at least 20 million tons of LNG will be transported to Asia via the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route all year round, the energy company said.

Although Kommersant’s sources in the industry are skeptical about the feasibility of this project, the largest shipper along this route, independent producer Novatek, expects year-round deliveries along the Northern Sea Route to begin by the mid-2020s.

A source in the company informed the paper that its cargo would provide more than a half (55%) of the Northern Sea Route’s estimated capacity by 2024.

Novatek expects to commission a transshipment complex in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Region by 2023, which implies year-round navigation.

Mikhail Grigoryev, Director of consultancy GECON, recalled that, according to Novatek’s plans, the completion of the construction of five nuclear ice-breakers by 2027 would make it possible to ensure year-round transportation of LNG along the Northern Sea Route to the terminal in Kamchatka.

On the other hand, the expert noted that cargo traffic could reach 80 million tons by 2024 only if all announced projects, including the Vostokugol and Severnaya Zvezda coal projects as well as Vostok Oil, were implemented.

If these projects are carried out, they would require icebreaker support in the south-west of the Kara Sea, the expert added.