Deal signed to develop Northern Sea Route

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
17 June 2019

The most effective commercial options for the use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will be examined as part of a deal signed to develop the Arctic shipping route.

The deal, signed by DP World and the Russian government, seeks to establish a joint venture “for the development of transit cargo through the NSR”.

The NSR involves a route through the Arctic to the north of Russia that is shorter than using the Suez Canal.

Last year the first container ship, operated by Maersk, completed a trial passage of the NSR, travelling between Busan in South Korea and Bremerhaven in Germany.

Under the agreement of intent signed by DP World, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Norilsk Nickel, and Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency and infrastructure operator of the NSR, there will be a focus on “linear transportation of containers and other bulk cargo”.

“It will be necessary to determine the amount of funding for the design and construction of an additional ice-class fleet and icebreakers, as well as the port infrastructure,” said DP World.

“A separate important area of work: ensuring industrial safety and environmental protection in the implementation of transportation along the NSR.”

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “We are excited about the possibilities and the benefits this will bring not only to the Russian economy, but to customers in Asia and Europe.

“Our expertise in developing new ports, infrastructure and innovative new supply chain solutions are key factors in our successes over the last few decades. We see enormous potential in NSR and look forward to creating new successes with our partners.”

Under the agreement a joint working party will be established to conduct an analysis and feasibility study.

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