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The Sea North rout

The Sea North rout

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Published by ivanmeng

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Published by: ivanmeng on Feb 10, 2010
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FNI Report 13/2000
Northern Sea Route Cargo Flowsand Infrastructure –Present State and Future Potential
By Claes Lykke Ragner
Northern Sea Route Cargo Flows and Infrastructure – PresentState and Future Potential
Publikasjonstype/Publication Type
FNI Report
)Claes Lykke Ragner
The report assesses the Northern Sea Route’s commercial potential and economic importance,both as a transit route between Europe and Asia, and as an export route for oil, gas and othernatural resources in the Russian Arctic. First, it conducts a survey of past and present NorthernSea Route (NSR) cargo flows. Then follow discussions of the route’s commercial potential as atransit route, as well as of its economic importance and relevance for each of the Russian Arcticregions. These discussions are summarized by estimates of what types and volumes of NSRcargoes that can realistically be expected in the period 2000-2015. This is then followed by asurvey of the status quo of the NSR infrastructure (above all the ice-breakers, ice-class cargovessels and ports), with estimates of its future capacity. Based on the estimated future NSR cargopotential, future NSR infrastructure requirements are calculated and compared with the estimatedcapacity in order to identify the main, future infrastructure bottlenecks for NSR operations.The information presented in the report is mainly compiled from data and research results thatwere published through the International Northern Sea Route Programme (INSROP) 1993-99, butconsiderable updates have been made using recent information, statistics and analyses fromvarious sources.
Stikkord/Key Words
Northern Sea Route, Russia, Arctic, shipping
Bestilling til/Orders to:
Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Postboks 326, N-1326 Lysaker, Norway.Tel: (47) 6711 1900 Fax: (47) 6711 1910 Email: sentralbord@fni.no
The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is the Russian name for what is often known outside Russia asthe Northeast Passage (NEP). In Europe, the term
 Northeast Passage
has for centuriesnurtured visions – that have never completely died out – of an adventurous shortcut that maybring about a revolution in sea trade between Europe and East Asia. In Russia, the term
 Northern Sea Route
holds different connotations, and mainly evokes visions of a grandnational waterway, created by the efforts of the Russian people, and mainly an internaltransport corridor for bringing natural resources out, and for bringing deliveries in to the manysettlements in the Russian Arctic. The Russian emphasis on the route’s
character isfurther seen from the formal Russian definition, by which the NSR is strictly confined by theNovaya Zemlya islands in the west and the Bering Strait in the east.This report tries to assess the sea route’s commercial potential and economic importance. Itdoes so by first making a survey of past and present Northern Sea Route (NSR) cargo flows.The route’s economic potential and importance, both as an international transit route and as atransport corridor to and from the Russian Arctic regions, is then discussed, before forwardingestimates of future cargo potential. An overview of the status quo of the NSR infrastructure(above all the ice-breakers, ice-class cargo vessels and ports) is also made, with estimates of its future capacity. Based on the estimated future cargo potential, future infrastructurerequirements are calculated and compared with the estimated capacity in order to identifypossible future bottlenecks for NSR operations.A large portion of the information presented in this report is compiled from data and researchresults that were published through the International Northern Sea Route Programme(INSROP) 1993-99. The establishment of INSROP was brought about by the formal openingof the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to non-Russian vessels in 1991, and was a multi-disciplinary, international research programme with the aim of investigating all relevantaspects and consequences of international shipping on the NSR. The programme involvedmore than 450 researchers from 14 countries, approximately half of them from Russia.The INSROP data has been updated and supplemented by data and analyses from varioussources – the most important ones being the NSR User Conference in Oslo November 1999,and a report commissioned by the EU body Tacis in 2000 to identify the Northern SeaRoute’s infrastructure bottlenecks. This author is most indebted both to the many INSROPscientists who have provided much of the baseline data, as well as the Russian and Dutchscientists that participated in the Tacis project.

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