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DP wants to operate ports in Russia’s northern sea route

St Petersburg - DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, wants to run ports that Russia plans to build along the northern sea route in the Arctic to shorten shipping times between the east and west

St Petersburg - DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, wants to run ports that Russia plans to build along the northern sea route in the Arctic to shorten shipping times between the east and west, its chief executive told Reuters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made developing the northern sea route (NSR) - which requires new ports and heavy icebreakers to move goods - one of his priorities, with supporters dubbing the route the northern Suez Canal.

Dubai government-controlled DP World operates 78 marine and inland terminals, supported by more than 50 related businesses in over 40 countries. The firm agreed this week with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom and Nornickel, one of the world’s top nickel and palladium producers, a joint project to pursue the integrated development of the NSR.

The deal is not legally binding and the parties will first study options for developing the route and may set up a joint venture later to develop freight transit via the NSR. “This is going to change the (economic) growth for Russia. Russia is creating the fastest route between the North Far East and Europe,” DP World Chief Executive Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters in St Petersburg.

Novatek, Russia’s biggest private gas producer, is already using the route to ship its liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and Asia, saving on costs and making its LNG competitive on the global market. “Ports are surrounded by other infrastructure which creates additional value, creates cargoes and high value cargoes,” bin Sulayem said, adding DP World was interested in operating ports along the NSR.

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