Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Far East Investment and Export Agency
under the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development
of the Far East to cooperate with each other in the development
of the Northern Sea Route and the Russian Far East.
MOL has been participating in the Yamal LNG Project, which is the
world first large scale energy project that exports cargoes
through the Northern Sea Route, and MOL's first ice-breaking LNG
carrier for the project is slated to go into service at the end
of March, following ice trials (ice-breaking sea trials) in
Arctic waters (*1) . MOL has also been proceeding with a
feasibility study aimed at establishing an LNG transshipment
terminal and marketing complex in the Kamchatka area with PAO
Novatek, who is the largest independent gas producer in Russian
and the main shareholder of the Yamal LNG project (*2) .
Potential Opportunities of Northern Sea Route
There exist abundant natural energy resources (natural gas, oil,
coal and etc.) in the Arctic area. However, the opportunities for
exploiting these resources have been limited because of the
unavailability of transportation options in the Arctic. With the
reduction of ice in the Arctic and the design of new ice-breaking
commercial vessels, the transportation of Arctic natural energy
resources has become commercially viable.
In the Arctic area, new projects are following in the steps of
the Yamal LNG Project. Asian countries, including Japan, who
import energy resources, will welcome the access to new energy
sources, particularly with respect to energy security, and it is
expected that there will be a significant trade growth in energy
delivered through the Northern Sea Route.
Moreover, for trades between Europe and Asia, compared with the
traditional route via the Suez Canal, the Northern Sea Route is a
much shorter distance, which equates to less time, and reduced
costs and CO2 emissions for transportation. It is therefore
expected that there will be an increase in the trade of goods, in
addition to energy resources, through the Northern Sea Route in
The Russian Far East is located at the entrance of the Northern
Sea Route, making it an important gateway once the anticipated
increase in trade via the Northern Sea Route is realized. This is
the key element behind the signing of this Memorandum of
Understanding between MOL and FEIA.
Currently FEIA assists the implementation of several
mega-projects, including the development of the Northern Sea
Route as a reliable and commercially viable corridor for Russian
and foreign goods.
"We hope that MOL will be effectively using the Northern Sea
Route for transporting cargos to Japan and other Asia-Pacific
countries and jointly we will be able to attract significant
investments into the Northern Sea Route infrastructure
development. The Agency is ready to help MOL in implementing all
its current and future projects," General Director of FEIA Leonid
Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander
Galushka emphasized that the cooperation between FEIA and MOL
will help to strengthen Russian-Japanese economic cooperation and
the development of the Northern Sea Route.