Dubai: The Russian Direct Investment Fund, an investment fund of the Russian Federation, together with foreign investors in Russian assets, ROSATOM, the infrastructure operator of the Northern Sea Routes (NSR), Norilsk Nickel, the world leader in the production of palladium and high-quality nickel, and DP World, one of the largest global port and logistics operators, have signed an agreement to jointly implement a project for the integrated development of the NSR, an Arctic shipping lane along Russia’s northern coast. The quadrilateral agreement of intent was signed on June 6, 2019 during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Under the agreement, the four parties will conduct a comprehensive study to identify the most effective commercial options for the use of the Northern Sea Route. The parties intend to create a strategic partnership in the form of a joint venture for the development of transit cargo traffic through the NSR. The key objective of the project is to increase the volume of freight traffic through the NSR and the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.
The agreement was signed by Dmitriyev Kirill Alexandrovich, Director General of the RDPI Management Company, Vladimir Potanin, President of Norilsk Nickel, Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom, and Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World.
In the first stage, the parties to the agreement will work to develop a strategy to increase the efficiency of the use of the NSR and determine ways to develop transit traffic. The focus will be on linear transportation of containers and other bulk cargo along the Northern Sea Route. The four parties will determine the amount of funding needed to design and construct an additional ice-class fleet and icebreakers, as well as port infrastructure. Another important area of work will involve ensuring industrial safety and environmental protection in the implementation of transportation along the NSR.
The project partners are all world leaders in their field of competence. The Russian Direct Investment Fund has many significant opportunities to attract foreign capital in the largest investment projects in the Russian Federation. ROSATOM is the authorised infrastructure operator of the Northern Sea Route and the owner of the world’s only nuclear icebreaking fleet. Norilsk Nickel, whose production facilities are located in the Far North, have many years of experience and knowledge in the field of logistics operations in the NSR. The company provides cargo transportation not only for its own needs, but is a key participant in ‘northern delivery’ in the Arctic region of the country. DP World is one of the world’s largest and most recognised global port operators and a leader in global digital supply chain solutions specialised in freight logistics, terminal services and freight services.
Bin Sulayem said: “DP World is uniquely positioned to help drive the development of the NSR. We are excited about the possibilities and the benefits this will bring not only to the Russian economy, but also to customers in Asia and Europe. Our expertise in developing new ports, infrastructure and innovative new supply chain solutions are key factors in our successes over the last few decades. We see enormous potential in NSR and look forward to creating new successes with our partners.”
Vladimir Potanin said: “Norilsk Nickel is one of the pioneers in the development of the Arctic, a company with unique experience in operating the Northern Sea Route. We will share it for the further development of this unique route.”
The parties agreed to establish a joint working group to conduct an analysis and prepare a feasibility study for the project within six months. Subject to this work being completed, a decision will be made on the further development of the project.