With backing of Chinese investors, Arkhangelsk region to get new deep-water port

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - October 24, 2016
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The current port north of Arkhangelsk in the Dvina River Delta. (Thomas Nilsen / The Barents Observer)
The current port north of Arkhangelsk in the Dvina River Delta. (Thomas Nilsen / The Barents Observer)

Newly established Arctic Transport and Industrial Centre Arkhangelsk has signed an agreement of intent with the Beijing based Poly International Holding Co. on construction of the new deep-water port 55 kilometers (about 34 miles) north of the City of Arkhangelsk, reports the regional news-agency News29.

The port will be built near the Mudyug Island in the Dvina river delta; close to the existing port facilities for larger vessels.

Port News reports that Arkhangelsk regional authorities aims at reaching an agreement with the Poly Group also to take part in the construction of the Belkomur railway link, one of the largest infrastructure investments in pipe for northwest Russia. The 1161-kilometer-long Belkomur railway (449 kilometers of which already exist), aims to link the mining and industrial areas in the South Urals to the new port of Arkhangelsk via Syktyvkar in the Komi Republic.

Estimated turnover for the new deep-water port of Arkhangelsk will by 2030 reach about 30 million tons of cargo. In comparison, Murmansk Commercial Seaport had a turnover of near 16 million tons of cargo in 2012.

For Russia, the new port will be a central hub for export and import in trade with Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and North America.

The port is planned for year-around shipping, operations that will include icebreakers since the White Sea is frozen during winter.

Loads of coal are sent by rail all the way from the Kuzbass region in southwestern Siberia to the port of Murmansk before being shipped to world markets by boats. With a new harbour in Arkhangelsk, linked with a new railway through the Komi Republic, transport distance to a port will be much shorter. (Thomas Nilsen / The Barents Observer)
Loads of coal are sent by rail all the way from the Kuzbass region in southwestern Siberia to the port of Murmansk before being shipped to world markets by boats. With a new harbour in Arkhangelsk, linked with a new railway through the Komi Republic, transport distance to a port will be much shorter. (Thomas Nilsen / The Barents Observer)

In Murmansk, new port facilities are to be built on the west side of the Kola Bay. A new 46-kilometer railway is now under construction, planned to be ready by March 2018.

The railway and new port facilities are parts of the Murmansk Transport Hub project, aimed at expanding the cargo flow and access to ice free waters year-around.