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Russian energy companies to cooperate on the Northern Sea Route

ROSATOM signed a memorandum of cooperation with Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker and Gazprom Neft Shipping for the implementation of the Eurasian Container Transit Project (EACT)

The agreement, signed during the Eastern Economic Forum 2023, sets out the parties’ intentions to create the first regular container line for transit cargo via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) between the eastern and western parts of Eurasia, ROSATOM said in a press statement.

Thirty-eight percent of EACT passes through the waters of the NSR.

The report said the companies will cooperate in the construction and operation of the Arctic fleet for the EACT project. In addition, they will study the possibility of providing the project with the necessary infrastructure for its operation on liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as work out the conditions for bunkering the fleet with LNG and other types of fuel.

“We strive to ensure that transit through the NSR is predictable and safe, and we welcome our partners who, like us, are engaged in the development of the Northern Sea Route balancing its economic and sustainable development,” said Ekaterina Lyakhova, Director for Business Development, ROSATOM State Corporation.

Anton Sobolev, General Director of Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker said currently, the company refuels every second vessel in the Arctic region with environment-friendly fuel.

“Our partners are cargo transportation companies and specialised vessels involved in major Arctic projects. To ensure year-round fuel supply to the polar fleet we have built a unified logistics infrastructure including our own ice-class bunkers for operation at northern latitudes,” he said.

“The accumulated experience of operating Russia’s first LNG bunker ship Dmitry Mendeleev allows us to provide shipping industry participants with unique expertise required when planning future routes and building marine transportation using low carbon footprint fuel,” said Dmitry Zaikin, General Director of Gazpromneft Shipping.

He said the company has introduced standards for LNG bunkering in Russia and launched education programme to equip crews to work with gas as fuel.

EACT enables reduction of distance from Northern Europe to China by almost 40 percent in comparison to the Suez Canal route and cut sailing time by 50 percent, thereby reducing fuel consumption and the carbon footprint of maritime transport.
Source: Reuters (Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)

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