The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based port operator DP World announced last week that it has tied up with Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom to develop the Northern Transit Corridor as a viable and sustainable route between Asia and Europe.
A DP World statement said that under the terms of the agreement, signed in St Petersburg, Russia, by DP World Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Rosatom Director General (DG) Aleksey Likhachev, the two companies will establish a joint venture which will invest in, build and operate transport and logistics capacity along the Northern Transit Corridor.
The Northern Transit Corridor “cuts up to 19 days from the journey time between South East Asia and Northwestern Europe. One third of the world’s trade flows between the two continents and saving shipping time will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Critically, the width and draft of vessels are not an issue along the Northern Transit Corridor. The alternative new route is not congested, shorter, more efficient and faster ”, the statement said.
“A record 33 million tons was carried along the Northern Transit Corridor in 2020, with President Vladimir Putin targeting 80 million tons by 2024. To open the route to sustainable commerce, a comprehensive development program will be performed, including the development of ports and transport links along Russia’s north coast to sustain economic activity”, it added.
According to DP World, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted significant challenges in the supply chain, with many cargo owners struggling to find containers to move their goods, while “diversification and disruption” of traditional routes and methods are required to sustain growth and build back confidence.
“As the leading provider of worldwide, smart, end-to-end supply chain logistics, DP World supports Russia’s efforts to diversify trade flows between Asia and Europe. The Northern Transit Corridor holds out the prospect of shorter transit times between East and West. DP World has already committed to invest $2 billion with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and we will continue to work with our partners in Russia to find solutions that allow the Northern Transit Corridor to develop sustainably”, DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in a statement.
According to Rosatom DG Aleksey Likhachev, “building of sustainable transport infrastructure in the Arctic opens up new opportunities in developing the Eurasian transit which can be achieved in an optimal timeframe and help reduce the environmental footprint through shorter route distances and the advanced low-carbon energy solutions applied.”
This agreement marks an important step in the development of a strategic partnership between Rosatom and DP World, Likhachev said.