2018 December 5 18:16
Significant reduction of financing under the national plan for mainlines development (by RUB 37 billion) will affect the project on development of the Northern Sea Route infrastructure, IAA PortNews correspondent cites Yury Tsvetkov, Deputy Minister of Transport – head of Rosmorrechflot (Federal Marine and River Transport Agency), as saying at the VIII International Forum "Arctic: Today and the Future".
According to him, the Law on the Federal Budget for 2019-2021 foresees the reduction of the NSR project financing by RUB 24 billion due to the Government’s decision to build two more nuclear-powered icebreakers.
Sergey Vakhrukov, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive approach to principal issues of the NSR loading and development. “The Ministry of Transport should be firm when posing a problem, whoever is responsible for the NSR", he emphasized.
Yury Tsvetkov reminded about the comprehensive plan for upgrading and expanding core infrastructure approved by RF Government on 30 September 2018 in pursuance of the Presidential Executive Order No. 204. According to the document, the Ministry of Transport is responsible for nine projects including the development of the NSR infrastructure.
The project summary issued earlier contained well-defined terms of infrastructure facilities construction as well as their financing, year by year. Under the project, the state is to expand the water area of Sabetta, create additional ice protection facilities, widen an access canal, ensure operation of FSUE Hydrographic Company and perform activities focused on safety. “However, first financing of the mentioned works is expected after 2020 (designing is not to begin before 2020 – Ed.) Therefore, NOVATEK has fairly questioned the necessity of building on-shore facilities ahead of schedule with the resources for the development of water area expected only in 2020”, said Yury Tsvetkov.
He explained that the access canal to Sabetta is to be widened twofold from the current 295 meters. Besides, there was a plan to increase subsidies provided to the hydrographic company. As of today, the fleet of FSUE Hydrographic Company services 37,000 virtual kilometers which is to be increased to 80,000 kilometers per year. This can be achieved with the subsidies increased to RUB 823 million which has not been confirmed yet. The approved budget foresees only RUB 400 million. High-latitude routes should be deployed with the increased number of large ships on the NSR lanes. For that purpose, Hydrographic Company is to increase the scope of surveying works.
Yury Tsvetkov also said that Marine Rescue Service will need more vessels. Taking into consideration their unique functions, it will take long to have such ships designed and built. There are also issues related to upgrading and expansion of the fleet of buoy tenders and survey ships.