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Murmansk transport hub is history?

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today signed a decree recalling the decision to make Murmansk a hub for transport in the High North. Photo: Trude Pettersen

The Russian Government is no longer interested in supporting the grand-scaled plans to make Murmansk a hub for transportation and logistics in the High North.

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At a meeting on Friday the Russian Government decided to recall the 2008 decree on establishment of Murmansk Transport Hub, FlashNord reports, citing Interfax. This decision will probably be a big blow for Murmansk only a few months after the Shtokman project was shelved.

Murmansk Transport Hub was supposed to be a huge investment project where Murmansk would become a northern Russian hub for container shipping, oil reloading and coal and fertilizers terminals. Murmansk Transport Hub was planned to be integrated in the International North-South Transport Corridor.

A decree on implementation of the Murmansk Transport Hub project was signed by then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in December 2008.

The project was planned to be financed with 66 billion rubles (app €1,6 billion) over the Federal Budget, while Russian Railways had planned to spend more than 41 billion rubles (app €1 billion) on new branch railways in the harbor area.

“The Murmansk Transport Hub is going to be a grand investment project on federal level, perhaps only comparable to the Olympic Games in Sochi”, then Governor of Murmansk Oblast Dmitry Dmitriyenko said in May 2009, BarentsObserver reported. 

Since then very little has been done in the project, Deputy Minister of Tranport Viktor Olersky said after the Government’s meeting on November 23. According to Olersky there seems to be too little interest among the stake holders to develop the project. 

Partners in the management company were Murmansk Commersial Sea Port (40 % of the stocks), Rosneft (15 %), Russian Railways (25 %), Rosmorport (15 %) and Murmansk regional government (5 %). 

In a comment on its web site the Murmansk Regional Government on Wednesday afternoon said that the decree signed by Prime Minister Medvedev on Friday is of technical character and that the project goes on as planned.