Year-round Navigation of the NSR Becomes a Reality


During the Saint Petersburg International Economics forum (PMIEF) last week, an agreement was signed between Rusatom Arctic (a part of Rosatom) and Hainan Yangpu NewNew Shipping Co. Ltd. The Chinese company will be the first container operator transiting the Northern Sea Route (NSR) throughout all year.

Both companies plan to create a joint shipyard which will be able to design and construct ARC7 class container vessels able to cross the NSR for the whole year. The plans for the first stage of cooperation between companies stand at five new vessels. The secure passage of the NSR for undisturbed operation will be provided by three nuclear icebreakers.

The main export item is oil, but it is said that the export of liquified natural gas (LNG) and iron ore will also increase. An expected route is designated to start in Arkhangelsk which might also mean the interest of the Chinese company in forest products.

Background: for a long time Russia has strived to provide a year-round navigation through the NSR. Such plans were expressed previously with the estimated date to begin transits at the end of 2024.