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Russia’s Rosatom to turn Arctic Sea Route into the new Suez with $7bn investment

PortandTerminal.com, November 23, 2019

Russian nuclear agency wants to capitalize on the potential of the Northern Sea Route through a huge newbuilding push.

MOSCOW – Unlike CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC, Nike, H&M and other Western progressive companies that have pledged to avoid the Northern Sea Route (NSR) due to environmental concerns, Rosatom has been officially tasked by the Russian government with maximizing the Arctic region’s economic potential.

Russia’s nuclear power company Rosatom has three nuclear-powered icebreakers and has commissioned two more

Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear power agency, is planning a massive expansion in the maritime shipping market with an investment of up to $7bn.

Reportedly, now Rosatom aims to become one of the top 15 maritime shippers in the world, transporting cargo from South-East Asia to Europe via the Arctic Northern Sea route, competing with alternative routes on the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Suez channel, and the Mediterranean.

Rosatom was selected by the Russian government to operate the NSR – the Arctic route Moscow wants to turn into a new Suez – coordinating the development of the project among its users.

Why invest in the Northern Sea Route?

Why invest in the Northern Sea Route? Because it offers a shorter route between Asia and Europe. Ship routes from Europe to eastern Asia would be 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) shorter. That saves time, fuel and money.

The Northern Sea Route may cut travel time from Europe to Asia by 40% and allow Russia to export its vast natural resources much faster.

Rosatom is betting that there will be no shortage of shippers and shipping lines that like the proposition of saving time and money. They’re probably right. While major many Western players have come out against using the NSR, others such as DP World have said that they’re ready to support Russia in its push northwards. Others will jump on board too.

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