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TAIMYR PENINSULA, Siberia Federal District: April 03, 2018. According to Russia president Vladimir Putin, the Northern Sea Route to Asia will be key to developing the Russian Arctic with traffic expected to reach 70-80 million tons annually by 2025.

Putin met recently with Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev who said at least 70 million tons of ore and metals will be transported annually eastwards to markets in Southeast Asia and additional volumes from Dudinka and the Yamal region westward to European markets.

Northern Sea RouteRosatom is a subsidiary of Russia’s Nuclear Energy Corporation that operates a fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers used on the Northern Sea Route.

Likhachev told Putin that to meet the demands of more ship traffic, Russia would need to build larger nuclear-powered icebreakers with 120 MW of power, double the size of current vessels. ”Such a unique icebreaker does not exist in the world today and will allow us to develop the north at a pace that is currently in the plans of subsoil explorers, primarily Novatek,” he explained.

Novatek owns 50.1 percent of the Yamal LNG processing plant in partnership with Total and CNPC (20 percent each), and the Silk Road Fund (9.9 percent), to tap natural gas reserves equivalent to over four billion barrels of oil. Each year nearly 16.5 million tonnes of LNG is expected to leave Sabetta Port to customers in Europe and Asia.

On March 31 the Northern Shipping Company (NSC) multipurpose vessel Johann Mahmastal unloaded 2,500 tons of general cargo in fast ice near the Tanalau cape on the Yenisei River for the Payakhsky oil field in the Taimyr Peninsula.

Due to the short delivery window and ice accumulation on the supporting nuclear icebreaker, close cooperation was needed between NSC, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, and Russian production company Taimyr Neftegaz in order to unload on time.

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