Signed at SPIEF
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#267July 2023

Signed at SPIEF

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Rosatom signed a number of agreements, which are of importance for both the company and Russia, at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum held in mid-June. Their diversity and number demonstrate international interest in the technology and solutions possessed by the Russian nuclear corporation.

Northern Sea Route

Among the most important was the agreement on cargo transportation and the development of Europe-Asia transport logistics with the global port operator, DP World. The document reinforces and expands the agreement signed on July 23, 2021 at the Arctic Days forum.

“This is the case when, figuratively speaking, we can kill two birds with one stone — ​in fact, two big bears — ​with one bullet, that is, with one budget investment. In other words, we will establish the route eastwards in the interests of our companies and, at the same time, create favorable and attractive conditions for international transit,” Director General of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev commented on the event in an interview to Russia 24 TV channel.

DP World Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said that transport and logistics companies from the United Arab Emirates were interested in the cooperation with Rosatom. The reasons are clear. On the one hand, there are logistics disruptions between the West and the East as even the smallest faults in the operation of the Suez Canal lead to supply delays at the global level. On the other hand, no new routes except the NSR have been established over the past 60 years. Furthermore, the Northern Sea Route offers a number of significant advantages, as it reduces both the time and costs of cargo deliveries along the London-Tokyo sea lane.

Rosatom and Russia’s TSS Group have agreed to establish a joint venture that will secure international contracts for the construction of floating nuclear power units with a capacity of at least 100 MW and a service life of up to 60 years. The target markets are the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa. This is a framework agreement, with legally and financially binding documents to follow. It is expected that the floating power units will be commissioned in 2029–2036.

Clean energy

NovaWind (Rosatom’s wind power division) signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Electric Power of Myanmar and the Myanmar-based Primus Advanced Technologies Ltd to begin feasibility studies for the construction of wind farms with a total capacity of 172 MW. The studies will include wind measurements and preparation of design documents for a 116 MW wind capacity in the Minhla Township and 56 MW in the Mindon Township. “We partner with Rosatom to supply electric power from the wind farms to the national grid and benefit the people of Myanmar with the joint investments of our two companies,” Managing Director of Primus Advanced Technologies Kyaw Hla Win said.

A similar memorandum was signed between NovaWind, the Ministry of Electric Power of Myanmar and the local company Zeya & Associates. The memorandum pertains to the construction of a 200 MW wind farm near the towns of Kyaukpadaung and Nyaung-U in the Mandalay Region (Central Myanmar). “Today we are signing two memoranda that will make the first step to unlock the huge development potential of wind power projects. I very much appreciate the support provided by the Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power. The country will receive a clean energy source that, in turn, will create an industrial cluster with new jobs and professions,” NovaWind CEO Grigoriy Nazarov said at the signing ceremony.

Rusatom International Network and the Mongolian company Dayan Deerkh Energy signed a strategic agreement on the cooperation in nuclear, hydro and wind energy. The agreement also mentions non-energy projects in the field of nuclear medicine, composite materials and digital solutions for the urban infrastructure. As Dayan Deerkh Energy CEO Byambaa Munkhbaatar noted, extensive cooperation with the Russian partners who have world-leading competencies will contribute to solving the comprehensive task of national development under Mongolia’s New Renaissance Policy.

For more details on the agreement with Zeya & Associates on healthcare projects, see our article ‘Rosatom Puts Emphasis on Medicine’.

Overall, Rosatom signed some three dozen different agreements with Russian and foreign partners at SPIEF. “International relations have never been easy, but this has not prevented the nuclear power industry from moving forward. The pressure has increased recently and become immense, and our partners are forced to choose solutions that are less effective and more expensive. But look, nuclear power in China and India is demonstrating an outstripping growth rate. New countries are embarking on nuclear programs. Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Sri Lanka are willing to reach agreements on the construction of energy facilities with us later this year. We will continue working, we will strengthen relations with those for whom national interests are more important than political directives […] The global nuclear family continues to live and work together, offering new products that make the planet cleaner,” Rosatom’s Director General summarized. 

Interesting facts

Export and import transportations via the Northern Sea Route have long ceased to exist on paper only and become a reality. On July 7, the container ship NEWNEW POLAR BEAR departed from Saint Petersburg for its maiden voyage to Asia. This is the first of the regular voyages launched by Hainan Yangpu Newnew Shipping Co. and the shipping agent Torgmoll.

NEWNEW POLAR BEAR, a higher ice class vessel, is carrying Russian-made goods, mostly those of timber processing companies based in Northwest Russia. Its estimated voyage time is about 28 days; the exact duration depends on ice conditions. Regardless, the voyage will be approximately one and a half times faster than traveling through the Suez Canal, which typically takes 45 to 50 days.

Rosatom’s Marine Operations Headquarters GlavSevmorput provides information and navigation support for the NSR voyages. When necessary, nuclear icebreakers escort the container ships.