Dubai operator wants to run Russia’s Arctic ports
DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, wants to run the ports that Russia plans to build along the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic to shorten shipping times between the east and west, its chief executive told Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made developing the route — which requires new ports and heavy icebreakers to move an increasing volume of goods — one of his priorities, with supporters dubbing the route the northern Suez Canal.
Dubai government-controlled DP World operates 78 marine and inland terminals worldwide. The firm agreed this week with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom and Nornickel, one of the world’s top nickel and palladium producers, on a joint project to pursue the integrated development of the Northern Sea Route. The deal is not legally binding and the parties will first study options for developing the route and may set up a joint venture later to develop freight transit.
“This is going to change the (economic) growth for Russia. Russia is creating the fastest route between the North Far East and Europe,” DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters at the annual economic forum in St. Petersburg. Novatek, Russia’s biggest private gas producer, is already using the route to ship liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia, saving money and making its LNG competitive in the market. Novatek wants to use nuclear icebreakers to keep the route open year-round by 2025.