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  Future bases for the Northern Sea Route pointed out

    vendredi 17 décembre 2010


Russia plans to build railways to two northern settlements that can be used as bases for traffic along the Northern Sea Route from Europe to Asia.

Location of Indiga and Amderma in Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Russian Railways has included railways to Indiga and Amderma in its development plans for the period to 2030, says Governor of Nenets Autonomous Okrug Igor Fedorov to RIA Novosti.

One line is planned to go from the town of Sosnogorsk in the Republic of Komi to the settlement of Indiga, while another I planned to be built from the town of Vorkuta in Nenets Autonomous Okrug to Amderma.

Fedorov believes that Indiga is an excellent place to build a deepwater harbor for transshipment of cargo to and from Siberia. Amderma, with its airport and future railroad, can play a significant role as a check point for traffic on the Northern Sea Route, Fedorov says.

Cargo transport through the Northern Sea Route will tenfold by 2020 according to estimates by the Murmansk authorities. While 2009 was a kind of test year for vessels sailing the entire route from Asia to Europe via the Arctic, 2010 has been the breakthrough for commercial shipping along the Northern Sea Route.

The rapid ongoing climate change is bringing vast change to the Arctic, and previous ice-covered areas are becoming more accessible for shipping. September 2010 was the first time in modern history that the Northern Sea Route was totally ice-free, with only some few places with drift ice that could be seen from the bridges of the vessels that sailed the route.

Sailing from Europe to Asia along the top of Russia’s Arctic coast takes only two thirds of the time it takes to go through the Suez Canal to the south. The Arctic lane also has the advantage of not being frequented by the sorts of pirates that lurk off the coast of Somalia.

The Northern Sea Route passes through the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Sea of Chukotsk to the Bering Strait. The most important users of the route are the Russian companies Norilsk Nickel, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft and Rosshelf.

Text : Trude Pettersen

Voir en ligne : Barents Observer