On 8 December in St. Petersburg, in the framework of the international forum Arctic: Present and Future, FSUE Atomflot and PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel signed a long-term contract for the provision of services by a 22220 project universal nuclear-powered icebreaker to support vessel navigation in the waters of the Northern Sea Route.
The document was signed by Leonid Irlitsa, Acting Director General of FSUE Atomflot, and Sergey Dubovitsky, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategic Projects, Logistics and Procurement Unit of PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel.
Under the contract, one of the 22220 project universal nuclear icebreakers is to operate annually in the Yenisei Region of the Kara Sea from January 1 through May 31 and from November 1 through December 31. The term of the contract is from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2041.
"Our long-term partners highly appreciated the efficiency of the Sibir nuclear-powered icebreaker on the Yenisei River," said Acting Director General of FSUE Atomflot Leonid Irlitsa. – The 22220 project nuclear-powered icebreaker has demonstrated its readiness to provide an efficient transport system for the delivery of the mining and metallurgical company's products. I would like to point out that if PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel is interested, this contract may be extended for two consecutive periods of up to five years each".
"The involvement of an extra icebreaking capacity is necessary for Nornickel because of the significant increase in cargo traffic to the Norilsk Industrial District. The growth is due to the implementation of a number of investment projects by Nornickel and other companies in the Taimyr Peninsula, as well as the launch of a large-scale renovation program in Norilsk. To meet these challenges, we have already expanded our logistics infrastructure. In particular, the number of voyages through the port of Dudinka during the last winter navigation season increased by 75%, and the amount of transported cargo increased by 40% as compared to the average figure for the previous years. A long-term contract with Atomflot and involvement of a new 22220 project icebreaker on a permanent basis will ensure a regular delivery of "project" cargo to Norilsk and will be a guarantee of the successful implementation of our strategic projects," Sergei Dubovitsky noted at the signing ceremony.
In November Rosatomflot received the second serial universal nuclear-powered icebreaker of 22220 project – Ural. The official ceremony of hoisting of the Russian Federation state flag on the vessel took place on November 22, 2022 in St. Petersburg.
Replenishing the fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers is important for the further development of shipping along the Northern Sea Route, one of the most promising global transport corridors. Active use of this transport corridor will allow Russia establishing efficient logistics routes, further unlock its export potential, and have an impact on the integrated development of the country's Arctic and Far Eastern regions. FSUE Atomflot is directly involved in this work.