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Northern Sea Route: Development Prospects and Uncertainties

In 2018, the Northern Sea Route development project was added to Russia’s “2019-2024 Comprehensive Long-Haul Infrastructure Modernization and Expansion Plan” with a budget of over RUB 580 billion (USD 9.25 billion).

Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear agency, has announced plans to establish a commercial shipping company and compete with the largest companies in the container shipping business.

On the global market, the idea of developing the Northern Sea Route has generated controversial discussions on ecology, climate change and strong competition in the market.

Key steps in the history of the Northern Sea Route development

history of development and transportation
history of development and transportation

Key numbers of the Northern Sea Route

Cargo traffic via the Northern Sea Route reached 19.7m tonnes in 2018. Export of LNG, gas condensate, oil and oil products accounted for almost 90% of shipments or 17m tonnes. By 2030, cargo traffic volume is expected to exceed 67m tonnes.

Transit cargo flows are expected to increase up to 1m TEU by 2030.

The average temperature in winter is -30°C, ranging from -43°C to -26°C.

8 icebreakers contains current fleet of icebreakers piloting ships through the Northern Sea Route.

Existing icebreakers provide corridor for a container vessel with maximum deadweight up to 4,000 TEU. New type of icebreakers with its first project "Leader" will provide a 50-meter corridor and will allow vessels with up to 12,000 TEU deadweight.

Contact us

Mikhail Bazhenov

Partner, Infrastructure and Project Finance Leader, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (495) 967 6000

Igor Kuznetsov

Senior Manager, Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Debt Advisory, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (812) 326 6969

Anna Vetrova

Senior Consultant, Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Debt Advisory, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (812) 326 6969

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