Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:27

Structure and dynamics of a cargo transportation across the Northern Sea Route: history, present and prospects

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The need for nuclear ice breakers and intensity of their operation continue to increase together with growth of economy of the Russian Arctic. In the next years there will be a tenfold growth of volumes of a cargo transportation across the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which will be provided with support of nuclear icebreaking fleet.

The nuclear icebreaking fleet finishes aestivo-autumnal navigation of 2015 and after planned repair passes to ensuring winter and spring navigation of 2015 — 2016 to water areas of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for the largest customers of the services: JSC Yamal LNG, JSC Gazprom Neft and Norilsk Nickel MMC. Icebreaking ensuring sea export of production of the listed largest Russian producers of raw materials, tasks of the Ministry of Defence and some other the companies are now provided with forces of 4 nuclear ice breakers (in the first half of their 2000th years there were 6). Intensity of operation of nuclear ice breakers in modern conditions of the competitive market of services is brought to 40 ice-breaker-months, i.e. on average each ice breaker is used 8 months in a year whereas, for example, in 2006 intensity at 6 working units made 33 — 34 ice-breaker-months — each ice breaker worked at most 5,7 months in a year.

One and a half times increase in productivity of each nuclear ice breaker doesn't remove requirement at least in one unit as already now it is obvious that the current quantity hardly provides the available plans of the Arctic players. In view of intentions of the Yamal LNG and Gazprom Neft companies to increase production of hydrocarbons after successful introduction of the planned turns of projects, the problem of shortage of nuclear ice breakers needs to be solved by 2018 — 2019, at the same time each of 5 ice breakers will have to be in the sea about 9 months in a year. The described situation testifies to one — the economy of the Russian Arctic shows growth which wasn't observed since the end of the 1980th years.

Russia looked for for a long time a reliable entry in the World Ocean which the European sea powers couldn't block easily in case of complication of the relations between the countries. The most extensive sea boundary — northern, and in 1525 the ambassador of the tsar Ivan III Dmitry Gerasimov has made the first project of the Northern Sea Route and the first map of coast of the Arctic Ocean and Moskovia.

In article dynamics of changes of freght traffic on SMP, development of transit navigation, advantage of nuclear power for icebreaking fleet on the example of ice breakers of Russia and the USA, and also prospects of development of ice breakers with nuclear power stations are investigated.

Source: Arctic: ecology and economy No. 4 (20), 2015
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