The agreement is not legally binding and contemplates a comprehensive study of the best available commercial options for using the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The parties will consider a strategic partnership through a joint venture to develop transit freight transportation on the NSR. The project will first and foremost seek to boost freight traffic on the NSR and across the Russian Arctic.
The first project stage will see the development of a strategy to improve the NSR utilisation efficiency while also exploring ways to unlock its transit transportation potential. The partners will particularly look into the options to launch linear transportation of containers and other bulk cargo along the route. They will also assess the financing required to design and build additional ice-class vessels and icebreakers, and the port infrastructure. Another pivotal area is protecting the environment and ensuring safety of maritime transportation on the NSR.
Project participants have all the necessary expertise to deliver on the project objectives. The Russian Direct Investment Fund has extensive opportunities to attract foreign capital into major Russian projects. Rosatom is the authorised infrastructure operator of the Northern Sea Route and the owner of the world’s only nuclear icebreaker fleet. Nornickel, whose production facilities are located in the Far North, has distilled many years of experience and knowledge in the NSR logistics. The company hauls freights for its own needs, while also being a key shipper of cargoes to the Russian Arctic. DP World is a major global port operator and a world leader in global supply chain solutions, specialising in cargo logistics, port terminal operations and freight transportation.
The parties agreed to set up a joint working group to conduct a six-month analysis and prepare a project feasibility study.