In 2022, the cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) exceeded the target of "The Development of the Northern Sea Route", a Rosatom curaed federal project, by more than 2 million tons. The cargo transported along the NSR amounted to 34.034 million tons in 2022.
“The Russian cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route could be observed to grow throughout the past year. According to 2022 results, the cargo traffic along the NSR showed 966 thousand tons increase due to Russian companies. The increase was equal to 3% compared to 2021,” said Vyacheslav Ruksha, Rosatom Deputy Director General - Director of the Northern Sea Route Directorate.
According to GlavSevmorput Federal State Budgetary Institution (belongs to Rosatom), the cargo traffic increased primarily due to LNG transportation in 2022. “The LNG transportation exceeded the indicator of 2021 by 1.2 million tons (1258 thousand tons), container cargo transportation increased by 226 thousand tons, bulk cargo transportation increased by 109 thousand tons. PAO Novatek and Nornickel are among the leaders for the cargo traffic growth. Gazprom Neft makes a significant contribution to the total cargo traffic along the NSR,” - noted Sergey Zybko, Director General, GlavSevmorput.
The cargo traffic for the construction of infrastructure Vostok Oil (Rosneft), Severnaya Zvezda LLC (AEON Corporation), GDK Baimskaya LLC, Arctic LNG-2 LLC (PAO Novatek) is increasing.
This year, Severnaya Zvezda LLC shipped the first three batches of coal mined at the Syradasayskoye field. More than 100 thousand tons of products were shipped eastward through the NSR.
In addition, FSUE Atomflot (belongs to Rosatom) completed a program of subsidized domestic voyages in 2022. The nuclear-propelled lighter carrier Sevmorput made two round voyages from the ports of the European part of the country to the ports of the Far East. The subsidized two-way voyage program will last in 2023.
At the instruction of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, tripartite agreements were signed between Rosatom, the Ministry of Development of the Far East and the Arctic and the main Russian shippers in 2022. The agreements envisage the construction of the relevant NSR infrastructure and ensure the annual cargo traffic. The cargo traffic forecast figures for 2030-2035 are higher under these agreements than those set in the NSR Development Plan until 2035. This evidences the huge potential and prospects for the NSR development.
Seven nuclear-propelled ships operate in the NSR waters to provide the icebreaking support to Arctic investment projects, three of the ships, Arktika, Ural and Sibir of 22220 project, being the most powerful in the world. Two more nuclear icebreakers of this series are being constructed at the Baltic Shipyard, while Lider, the lead nuclear icebreaker of 10510 project, is being built at Zvezda shipbuilding facility. Two more Project 22220 nuclear-propelled icebreakers will be constructed in accordance with the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation.
The passport of "The Development of the Northern Sea Route" federal project requires the target of 32 million tons to be reached by the end of 2022. Rosatom acts as the curator of the federal project, which is part of the Comprehensive Plan for the Modernization and Expansion of the Main Infrastructure.
It is noteworthy that since 2008, Rosatom has been managing the world's only nuclear-propelled icebreaker fleet. In 2018, the Federal Law was adopted, giving Rosatom authority to develop the NSR infrastructure. In 2019, Hydrographic Enterprise joined Rosatom. Hydrographic Enterprise provides navigational and hydrographic support in the NSR water area, while also being a customer-developer for the new construction and operation of the port infrastructure within the NSR water area. In 2022, at the instruction of the Government of the Russian Federation, Rosatom established the NSR General Administration (GlavSevmorput), whose responsibilities include NSR navigation management. At the same time, in addition to the mechanism for NSR navigation permit issuance, the permit suspension, renewing, amendment and termination were also formalized in legislation. These innovations were introduced in the context of the NSR cargo traffic increase in order to improve the safety of navigation in the water area.
The integrated development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation is one of the national strategic priorities. The NSR cargo traffic increase is of paramount importance for the achievement of the goals set for cargo transportation and delivery. The development of this logistics passage is ensured through regular cargo voyages, construction of new nuclear-propelled icebreakers and modernization of the relevant infrastructure. Rosatom companies take an active part in this work.