International logistics is a new business for Rosatom. This will be a focus area for a newly established company, Rusatom Cargo. Its task will be to facilitate and optimize cargo deliveries to overseas nuclear power plants under construction and organize commercial freight transportation between Europe and Asia on the Northern Sea Transport Corridor.
Rusatom Cargo was established in June 2019. Its sole shareholder is AtomEnergoProm (a Rosatom Group company). The purpose of Rusatom Cargo is to develop Rosatom’s logistics business across two focus areas.
The first area is cargo delivery for nuclear power plants constructed by Rosatom in foreign countries. This presumes performing two specific tasks.
One is to cut down shipment costs by analyzing information about upcoming cargo deliveries to nuclear stations under construction and optimal utilization of chartered ships. Building long-term relationships with carriers and, as a result, receiving better offers also saves money.
Rusatom Cargo expects delivering around 150,000 tons of cargo annually. Cargo deliveries to new nuclear plants will peak in 2022–2025, so the new company has enough time to get ready and carefully plan its activities.
The second task is to make logistics profitable. Since Rusatom Cargo plans to charter ships anyway, it will be able to provide freight services from Russia and abroad to third parties. When performing this task, Rusatom Cargo will act as a forwarding agent for potential customers.
Breaking a path for trade
The second focus area for Rusatom Cargo is container transit between Asia and Europe along the Northern Sea Transport Corridor (NSTC). NSTC is the route from the ports of Northern Europe to the harbors of East Asia. The Northern Sea Route has a length of approximately half of the NSTC. The ultimate goal is to make NSTC competitive as compared to the Southern sea route. The key advantage of NSTC is that it is shorter and thus faster and cheaper. In addition, Rusatom Cargo is considering the possibility of cutting transportation tariffs.
Rusatom Cargo’s team has analyzed freight traffic and made a conclusion that 30 million tons of cargo per annum is doable.
Rusatom Cargo will work in close cooperation with the Northern Sea Route directorate which task is to ensure the year-round navigation on the Northern Sea Route (NSR). As our readers probably remember, Rosatom has been appointed the NSR operator in late 2018. Its main short-term task is to increase freight traffic on the Northern Sea Route up to 80 million tons by 2024. To ensure year-round navigation on NSR, Rosatom is expanding its icebreaker fleet. It should include nine icebreakers by 2035, including five 60 MW Project 22220 vessels and three 120 MW Lider-type vessels.