Vladimir Kharlov, the coordinator of the «Northern Maritime Corridor» (NMC) project, recently gave a lecture at The Northern Arctic Federal University (Narfu). Vladimir Galaktionovitsch told the students and employees at the university about the project, about Archangels part in the project, and the perspectives of Narfu regarding the project.
NMC is an international project which goal is to create a integrated transport route with ports and infrastructure in the northern part of Europe. According to Vladimir Kharlov, there is an unfulfilled link between the large transport routes in Europe and the northern sea route. The idea of this sea route is important, not only from a Russian perspective, but also for Western Europe, East Asia, even Alaska, hence the length of the route between the ports at the end of the Northern Sea Route is more than one third shorter than the southern sea routes.
The international project started in 2002, initiated by the European Union within the frames of the EU-Russia Cooperation Programme.
The goal is to create a integrated transport system of ports and infrastructure in the northern part of Europe, and development of favourable conditions for increasing transportation at sea. The basic premises of the concept NMC tends to be the mastering of deposit of oil and gas on the shelf and shores of the Arctic, and also the growth in extracting hydrocarbons and similar bulk freight in international trade that demands new and efficiant circuits.
In Kharlovs opinion, the interaction between the twenty participants from eight countries of the world is getting better, regarding the fact that the project involves the territory from Great Britain, Iceland, and Greenland to Norway and the northwestern coastline of Russia (Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Nenets Autonomous Okrug).
At this moment, the NMC project is mostly connected to Murmansk. This has to do with the geographical situation of the city, and also it’s non freezing port, and more favourable prices. Vladimir Galaktionovitsch is sure that Arkhangelsk will develop as well. However, there are obstacles for the development of the port and oblast — the prices in the Arkhangelsk port are high. «It is not a deep water port. The custom office is very difficult to pass. Instead of three days, they clear the goods in 20 days», explained Vladimir Kharlov.
According to him, there are now trial trips of container ships. At the moment they only go to Murmansk. To Arkhangelsk there is simply impossible to arrange trial tours. Arkhangelsk seems to be the most expensive port in the world. «The dutchmen say it straight forward: we will ship our goods through St. Petersburg, because it closer and cheaper», Vladimir Kharlov emphasized.
«We will try to convince them, that it’s not like that. Even if the road to Arkhangelsk is a bit longer, it is not loaded. And added to that — there is a difficult situation with the railroad in Murmansk», Vladimir Galaktionovitsch added.
However, the fact that «Sevmash» is situated in Arkhangelsk oblast, plays an favourable role in the development of the NMC project. In Vladimir Kharlovs opinion, additional capitalization of «Sevmash» will make it possible to organize production of metal construcion and easy and quickly delivery to construction sites of oil producing companies. The university Narfu can and should play it’s part, in Kharlovs opinion, in educating specialists for future work in the Arctic, and that also means servicing the Northern Maritime Corridor.