Russia unveils major plans for Northern Sea Route
俄力推北方海路 官宣15年发展规划
SOURCE: themoscowtimes |UPDATED: 2020-01-17Visit Statistics:

The Russian government has announced a major infrastructure development plan for the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as part of its efforts to make the Arctic viable for commercial shipping. 

The document, which has been in the making for some time, was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published before the end of 2019. The plan is sweeping with 84 separate initiatives, which covers the building of new ships, mapping of natural resources, and the launch of new satellites and meteorological equipment. 

Most of the initiatives will be supported by Rosatom, the state nuclear power giant that has already invested heavily in the NSR. 

The document builds on President Vladimir Putin’s decrees from May 2018 to boost annual shipments on the Northern Sea Route to 80 million metric tons by 2024. 

As part of the plan, four regional airports will get major upgrades and about 40 new vessels will be built by 2035, including several nuclear icebreakers. 

The country also plans to build a number of railways connecting industrial heartlands to the Arctic coast. This includes a 46-kilometer-long railway and port facilities on the western banks of Kola Bay. 

Major dredging operations in the Gulf of Ob are set to begin as well to pave the way for sailing with big vessels in the region. Both the dredging and the railway projects are due to be completed by December 2021. 

A few of the initiatives are already close to being finished, such as a regional geological exploration program that is to be adopted by April this year. And by June, key decisions are to be taken on the development of a railway line to Sabetta, the seaport and liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal on the northern coast of the Yamal peninsula. 


The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is a shipping lane between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean along the Russian coast of Siberia and the Far East, crossing five Arctic Seas: the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea. It was considered to be of great importance that could cut the travel time between Asia and Europe by 40% via the Suez Canal and 60% via the Cape of Good Hope.

Editor: Pauline Tai