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All stories are more moored in the world!

Whose capacity is more powerful, more stately, the depths are deeper and the berths themselves, where are they longer - in Korsakov or Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky? Sakhalin and Kamchatka will measure their berths in order to join the scheme of transit traffic along the Northern Sea Route.

With the participation of Rosatom, a project for the development of transit traffic along the Northern Sea Route is being worked out today. The potential volume of container traffic in this direction is estimated by the state at 1,8 million TEU by 2030. In order to service traffic, the issue of creating transport and logistics hubs for the Northern Sea Route is being considered. In the Far East, the ports of Korsakov and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky can compete for promising volumes of transportation.

All stories are more moored in the world!


The Korsakov Port Development Project provides for a large-scale reconstruction and expansion of the sea harbor. A multifunctional deep-water transshipment complex should appear on this territory, which will have equipment for transshipment of containers, general cargo, fish products, as well as Class A warehouses and refrigeration facilities for storing seafood. In addition, a new international passenger terminal is planned to be built in Korsakov.

The boundaries of the Korsakov Sea Trade Port now include two sea berths. Navigation in the harbor is carried out all year round, with the exception of the Pogranichnoye and Ozersky terminals, operating from May to mid-December. The annual cargo turnover is more than 1,5 million tons. Container traffic has been growing here recently. The container turnover of the port of Korsakov for 11 months of 2020 increased by 7% compared to last year's level - up to 140,76 thousand TEU (containers in 20-foot equivalent).

To create a logistics port technopark, it is necessary, first of all, to modernize the basic infrastructure: to carry out dredging, to extend the sea berth, to erect wave protection structures. “The port makes a difficult impression so far: it cannot accept large-tonnage vessels (it serves the fleet with a draft of up to 7,5 m - Ed.), The state of port equipment raises questions. A lot of things need to be done to make the port really modern, ”said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, who visited Korsakov in December 2020. According to him, it is advisable to carry out the work both at the expense of public and private funds.

As the Deputy Minister of Transport and Roads of the Sakhalin Region Maxim Zhogolev told EastRussia, work on the Korsakov project is being carried out in several directions today. The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation is cooperating on the issue of including reconstruction and expansion of the port zone in Korsakov in the federal project "Russian Seaports" of the Comprehensive Plan for the Modernization and Expansion of the Main Infrastructure until 2024. At the same time, the authorities of the region organized work on the consolidation of lands falling under the future construction. In addition, the investment concept of the project is now being developed, the materials will be tentatively ready in the first half of 2021.

In parallel, the search for investors is underway. In particular, this is the responsibility of the Far East Agency for Attracting Investments and Export Support (ANO API). The ANO API confirmed that negotiations were held with several Russian and foreign investors on participation in the project to create a hub in the port of Korsakov, but they did not devote details.

It is known that in February 2020, the island's authorities signed an agreement with the transport holding Delo and JSC Atomenergoprom (part of the state corporation Rosatom) on the formation of a transport and logistics hub on the basis of the port of Korsakov for servicing the NSR. When signing the document, senior vice president of Delo Management Company Andrey Yashchenko said that Sakhalin is located at the crossroads of cargo flows between Russia and the Asia-Pacific countries, so the maximum use of the region's transit potential can serve as an additional driver of the region's socio-economic development. The company did not respond to EastRussia's request regarding the current situation on this project.

The regional ministry of transport expects that the updated port will be able to receive the first cargo in 2024. In general, the project is divided into several stages until 2030.


On the one hand, Korsakov will continue to work for export-import communication. So, from Sakhalin to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, marine biological resources and agricultural products can be supplied. “Export of agricultural products has good prospects, it can be in demand in the Japanese market, where prices are much higher than on Sakhalin. At the same time, the cost of electricity and natural gas is several times lower, ”says Dmitry Lisnevsky, Minister of Investment Policy of the Sakhalin Region.

Even greater expectations are associated with the provision of international container transit between northwestern Europe and eastern Asia, which is planned to be launched on the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Sakhalin authorities want to make Korsakov a turning point for traffic in the direction of the Arctic corridor. According to the region's forecasts, in the future, the cargo turnover of the Korsakov port may increase to 30 million tons per year, and its main volume will be containerized cargo - it will be able to handle up to 1,1 million TEU annually.

According to the regional government, in a few years transportations along the Northern Sea Route will reach 80-100 million tons annually (according to FSUE Atomflot, this year the cargo traffic will be 32 million tons). A significant share of transportation will fall on hydrocarbons exported from the Arctic: Yamal liquefied gas, oil under the Vostok Oil project. At the same time, a container stream can give part of the load. According to forecasts of the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, the potential volume of container traffic through the NSR is estimated at 1,8 million TEU by 2030, Rosatom reported. The goal looks quite ambitious, given that approximately the same volume of containers, and not only in transit traffic, is currently being transshipped by all Far Eastern ports.

And the transit itself, following through the seaports and border crossings of the Far East, takes a small share in container traffic. In 2019, 72 thousand TEUs in transit traffic passed through the railway stations of the Far Eastern Railway - almost 1/10 of the total container traffic. So far, many plans to actively attract transit in the East-West direction have not taken place in the Far East region. Japanese shippers have been testing the Transsib's capabilities for transporting their own cargo for at least 15 years, but there has not been a breakthrough in this matter - the main traffic is still going through the southern ocean route. So far, the intentions with the Chinese side to develop communications along international transport corridors passing through the territory of the Primorsky Territory have not been justified. In 2019, only 1 thousand containers were transported in transit via the Primorye-7,5 ITC through the Suifenhe - Grodekovo border crossing.

In 2020, despite the pandemic, rail transportation of transit cargo from China through Russia was on the rise. For 11 months, according to JSC "United Transport and Logistics Company - Eurasian Railroad Alliance" (a joint venture of the railways of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation), the volume of transportation along the China - Europe - China route on transit services exceeded 500 thousand TEU - this is 60% more than in the previous year. However, the main part of the transit has passed the Far East, its advance is organized through border crossings in Transbaikalia, Buryatia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan.

Attracting transit cargo to the Northern Sea Route is a serious task that requires not only the appearance of proper infrastructure, says the assistant to the rector for scientific work of the Maritime State University. Admiral Nevelskoy Mikhail Kholosha. It is necessary to create a certain service that still needs to be brought to the container transportation market. It also requires a clear understanding of the type of logistics hubs on the Northern Sea Route. All this needs a detailed economic justification.

Boris Nevzorov, a member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation from the Kamchatka Territory, is confident that the Northern Sea Route will develop at an accelerated pace. In the future, Russia plans to put 11 icebreakers on this route for escorting ships. The first, lead, "Arktika" was commissioned this fall. The icebreakers Sibir and Ural are currently under construction under this project (the planned construction period is 2021 and 2022), and by 2026 it is planned to launch the ships of the same class, Chukotka and Yamal. In addition, a contract was signed with the Zvezda shipbuilding complex for the construction of the world's largest nuclear icebreaker Rossiya (under the Leader project), which will be able to operate in ice all year round.

“When there are enough of them (icebreakers - Ed.), There will be flights from America, Japan and China along the Northern Sea Route. This road is the shortest. The Southern Sea Route is one and a half times longer. So the development of the Northern Sea Route is only a matter of time. Once people did not believe that a man would fly into space, but today we are a leading space power, ”said the senator.


According to Rosatom, the project for the development of the route and logistics service, called the Northern Maritime Transit Corridor (SMTC), is now at the stage of early investment planning and pre-design study. “The preliminary concept of cargo transportation presupposes the organization of transport and logistics hubs (TLU) for transshipment of containers from non-ice-class ships to ice-class container ships (pit-stop transshipment) for subsequent transportation along the Northern Sea Route. Currently, the selection of sites for TLU is underway. We are considering sites in several regions of the eastern shoulder of the route, including Sakhalin and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, "the Communications Department of Rosatom told EastRussia.

The government of the Kamchatka Territory is convinced that Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is convenient for servicing prospective transit traffic along the NSR. The port, located on the shore of one of the largest bays in the world, is in close proximity to international shipping lines that run 150-200 nautical miles from the east coast of Kamchatka. Today, there is also an increase in container handling: over 11 months, 95,36 thousand TEUs were processed, an increase of 5,8% compared to last year's level.

“Currently, a working group has been created that will work on issues related to the consolidation of transit cargo, and the berthing facilities are now ready to receive a certain amount of such cargo,” said the Ministry of Transport and Road Construction of the Kamchatka Territory. “Today the infrastructure is in principle sufficient, but if there is a need, we are ready to consider the possibility of increasing capacities.”

According to the interlocutor of EastRussia, the Seroglazka terminal being created in the port (part of the Norebo group of companies), in addition to processing refrigerated containers, can also work with dry containers. This autumn, he shipped a batch of fish in containers to the nuclear-powered lighter carrier Sevmorput, which delivered the products to St. Petersburg.

It is expected that in 2022, upon completion of the second stage of the terminal, Seroglazka will be able to handle almost 2 million tons of cargo annually. In addition, FSUE Natsrybresurs is modernizing its berths in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky: two are already ready, another one is expected to be commissioned after reconstruction next year.


“The efficiency of work on the modernization of ports will be decisive when choosing whether Sakhalin or Kamchatka will become the turning point of the Northern Sea Route,” Trutnev said following the meeting held in Korsakov.  

“It is quite obvious that we need to develop the port there, and here. But which port will move faster (...) will depend, among other things, on the leadership of the subject. Valery Igorevich (Limarenko, Governor of Sakhalin - ed.) Shows great energy in promoting this project. I am sure that the same position will be on the part of Vladimir Solodov (Governor of Kamchatka - editor's note). This is a normal competition. "

The ability to work with containerized cargo going to the Arctic today increases the advantages of Kamchatka, the regional leadership emphasizes. “Our peninsula can become a new center for global logistics. In the future, we see Petropavlovsk as a key hub, a gateway to the Northern Sea Route, ”said Governor Vladimir Solodov at the ceremony, when the lighter carrier Sevmorput was loaded with fish in the Kamchatka port. The prospect of becoming a logistics megaportal may turn into a "golden key" for a region that is constantly included in the top subsidized territories. But will Kamchatka have enough "gunpowder"?

After all, the Sakhalin region does not intend to lose the initiative in this matter. And how can you not remember that Valery Limarenko worked at Rosatom for 11 years? But, as the regional administration noted philosophically, there was, is and will be competition. It is much worse when it is only said but nothing is done. “Whoever is the first to debug the logistics chain, who will raise the infrastructure, will be on top. We want it to be Sakhalin, ”said Maxim Zhogolev.

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