According to a statement by Vladimir Ilyukhin, Governor of the Kamchatka Territory in northeast Russia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky “can and should become a port hub” for both Russia and foreign vessels at the Northern Sea Route (NSR),
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the only NSR port in the northern part of the Pacific coast, and it is an ice-free port. The new center could provide bunker facilities and ship repair and crew-exchange opportunities.
The use of the NSR has been rising dramatically in recent years and it is said to be poised for even greater growth. Russia has issued more than 400 permits this year to use the Northern Sea Route, which can cut 40% off the sailing time between Asia and Europe. According to official data, the first commercial ship to use the route crossed the Arctic in 2010, 46 vessels used it last year, and hundreds are expected to use it in 2013.
“Today, representatives of shipping companies in the Asia-Pacific region are quite active in their strivings to use this route, so, amid intense development of the Arctic shelf, this work is of state importance.”, said Mr. Ilyukhin.
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