Russia plans environmental protection fleet

By Hege Eilertsen, High North News - October 17, 2017

Sergei Donskoi, the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, confirms that the program of the Arctic socioeconomic development includes construction of an environmental protection fleet after 2021.

According to the minister, the project was included in the state program on the ministry’s initiative, and the fleet will upgrade the safety level of sea activities and substantially minimize environmental risks to marine ecosystems.

The project will cost 3.1 billion rubles, Russian news agency TASS reports.

When the minister spoke at the Russian government’s marine board meeting last week, he also said that another way of minimizing environmental risks was to start using vessels fueled by liquefied natural gas.

The minister proposed starting with the Northern Sea Route, according to TASS.

“The construction of icebreakers fueled by LNG has already begun. The first ship, Polaris, was built at the United Shipbuilding Corporation Arctech in Finland. In its turn, the Ministry of Natural Resources participates in building three LNG-powered river tankers for Volgotrans as part of the implementation of the Arctic Council’s projects,” the news agency quotes Donskoi as saying.