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Russia Ready to Profit from Northwest Passage

21. October 2009 by James 0 Comments

For centuries mariners searched for the mythical Northwest Passage between Asia, America and Europe. Now with the Arctic ice melting faster than previously thought, Russian maritime interests are salivating at the possibilities for shipping.


Sergey Bogdanchikov, CEO of Russian oil giant, Rosneft, said that shipping oil  to North America via the Arctic is 3 times faster than through the Middle East.


The demand of global trade through the Suez Canal is expected to increase more than 50% of its capacity in the next few years, making the new trade route via a Northwest Passage critical.


Last week, British polar researcher Pen Hadow predicted that within 10 years the Arctic will be ice free during in summer. Last month, two German merchant ships became the first to cross without the help of icebreakers.


With most of the passage going through Russian waters, Russia must be ready for the increase of shipping, said Vitaly Morozov, CEO of the Murmansk Sea Trace Port. Morozov went on to say that Murmansk, located on the Arctic Sea, plans to become the core for the new trade route.  Russian federal and state governments plan to pump billions of dollars into infrastructure port improvements.