Moscow plans significant expansion of trans-Arctic shipping

The Russian government has announced its intention to increase annual transit volumes on the Arctic Northern Sea Route, pushing it up from the currently modest 1.3m tons (in 2020) to a far more respectable 30m tons by 2030.

Russia’s first deputy prime minister Andrei Belousov said that “by 2030, we plan to reach a level of 150 million tons [on the Northern Sea Route], of which 30 million tons will be transit.”

Belousov said that over the next 10 years, RUB716bn ($12bn) would be invested in infrastructure that would make the route navigable 12 months of the year. He said that more than half of the total investment would be spent before 2024.

State-owned nuclear power company Rosatom plans several super-powerful Lider icebreaking vessels.

Most Arctic shipping volumes currently consist of LNG carriers.