ROSATOM and Nornickel sign supplementary agreement on icebreaker accompaniment

By griffith - July 23, 2021
The logo of Russia’s miner Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel)

ROSATOM and Nornickel have signed a supplementary agreement to complement their 2018 cooperation agreement. The additional agreement will last through 2030 – a testament to the strategic partnership between the two companies. In light of mutual interests, the parties intend to cooperate in ensuring uninterrupted and environmentally friendly integrated icebreaker accompaniment for vessels navigating through the Northern Sea Route.

According to IAA PortNews correspondent, the supplementary agreement was signed by ROSATOM’s First Deputy Director General and Director for Development and International Business Kirill Komarov and Nornickel’s Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy and Strategic Projects Management, Logistics, and Resource Support Sergey Dubovitsky. The signing ceremony took place as part of the ROSATOM-organised event “Arctic Day.”

The document entails an expansion of the parties’ cooperation as Nornickel plans to increase its cargo traffic along the Northern Sea Route. The metals and mining company is increasing its traffic volume to facilitate the timely implementation of its strategic investment projects in the Norilsk industrial region. These projects include the company’s primary environmental initiative – the Sulfur Programme.

In particular, the agreement expands the annual window during which Rosatom provides Nornickel with vessel accompaniment services. At present, Taymyr and Vaygach-type nuclear-powered icebreakers accompany Nornickel vessels from January to May. Under the new agreement, the period of vessel accompaniment will be expanded to November-May.

“For several decades, ROSATOM and Nornickel have successfully cooperated in providing cargo transportation with icebreaker accompaniment along the Northern Sea Route. The extension of their agreement until 2030 clearly demonstrates that the profitability of projects implemented in the Arctic directly depends on the efficient operation of [Russia’s] nuclear icebreaker fleet. Over the coming years, we will [continue] to provide our partners with a reliable service at a transparent price,” said Kirill Komarov.

“Nornickel has historically used the Northern Sea Route for cargo transportation and is one of its oldest users. Today, the company is at a new stage of its development. Our new ambitious projects to modernize production, improve the environmental situation, [and] renovate Norilsk, require not only largescale investments, but also reliable infrastructure, including transport. The nuclear icebreaker fleet, which has been our long-term and trustworthy partner for more than half a century, will become a direct participant in these changes. We are pleased by the expansion of our cooperation with Rosatom and are confident that this will have a positive impact not only on the realisation of Nornickel’s plans, but also on the implementation of [Russia’s] state programme for the development of the Arctic,” said Sergey Dubovitsky.

As part of this new agreement, the parties intend to conclude “take-or-pay” contracts in the future on the provision of vessel accompaniment services using project 22220 nuclear icebreakers for a period of 15 years for a fixed price in Russian roubles and annual adjustments to reflect the previous year’s inflation, with the option of extending said contracts for two ten-year periods.

Within the framework of the parties’ cooperation, FSUE Atomflot, Rosatom subsidiary in charge of operation and maintenance of the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet, plans to operate Nornickel’s future dual-fuel diesel-LNG icebreaker. The parties also intend to look into the possibility of jointly building an icebreaker to replace the retiring Taymyr/Vaygach-type icebreaker, as well as a fleet of port icebreakers to replace Nornickel’s port icebreaker Dudinka.

Rosatom is a global technological leader, with capacities in the nuclear sector and beyond, and business partners in 50 countries. As one of the pioneers of the nuclear industry, Rosatom has traditionally been at the forefront of the international nuclear market, including nuclear power plant construction, uranium mining and enrichment, and nuclear fuel fabrication and supply. Today, thanks to the unique expertise accumulated over 75 years, the company is conquering the markets of new promising high-tech products. Hydrogen energy, energy storage, nuclear medicine, wind energy, composite materials, logistics business, environmental solutions – in total, more than a hundred new businesses, which cement Rosatom’s standing among the leading tech giants.

This article was originally posted on