The port of Murmansk should be the only one with status as Russia’s “Port to the Arctic”, said Murmansk governor Marina Kovtun at a working meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. During this meeting, Kovtun briefed the president about the beginning of the “Murmansk transport hub” – project.
” We hope and believe that the port of Murmansk will remain the only one which has the status of “Gateway to the Arctic” … because we have all the necessary prerequisites. We keep on training personnel … with a view to developing the Arctic shelf “, said Marina Kovtun according to news agency RIA Novosti .
The extensive development of ” Murmansk Transport Hub ” – project aims to create a year-round hub for maritime transport and cargo handling which is integrated in the Northern Sea Route . The project involves developing infrastructure on the west coast of the Kola Bay, including coal and oil terminals and a new rail connection. The plans also include a container terminal on the city side of the fjord. The ice-free port of Murmansk is the starting point for the northern sea route to the East along the coast of Siberia.
Governor Kovtun stressed in her conversation with President Putin that much interest in the project comes from companies that will be involved in the development of the Arctic shelf, the president ‘s media office says in a press release.
Kovtun mentioned a number of companies interested in the development, including Rosneft, Gazprom and Bashneft.
Kovtun also said that the contractor for the project was selected in March after negotiations and agreements were signed on April 22 with all participants in the project, the private investor Commercial Sea Port Lavna , Rostransmodernizatsiya and the Government of the Murmansk region .
The investor group “Lavna” plans to invest 17.6 billion rubles in a new coal terminal with a capacity of 18 million tons per year, while the government will invest around 62 billion rubles in infrastructure.
Kovtun also mentioned the problem of coal dust in connection with the coal terminal and confirmed that a major environmental program is under development. “We are aware of this problem . .. We will sign an agreement with the Siberian Coal Energy Company, the owner of the port … to ensure that they will conduct a major environmental program. This is important for the population, they are very concerned about this and forcing the authorities to react. So we have no choice”, said Governor Marina Kovtun.
Sources : Official website of the President of Russia , RIA Novosti