Only the companies Stroygazkonsulting and Story-Trest have been approved to take part in a tender on the construction of a 28 km long railway line along the western shore of the Kola Bay, a key part of the long-discussed Murmansk Transport Hub project. While Stroygazkonsulting is controlled by billionair Ziyad Manasir, the Story-Trest company is part of the corporate empire of Gennady Timchenko, Prime.ru reports.
The companies are reportedly offering to build the railway for between €800-880 million. The project also includes the construction of a bridge across the great Tuloma river.
The railway will lead to Lavna on the western side of the Kola Bay and be an important transport connection to new industrial plants in the area. Among the new facilities planned built are a 20 million ton capacity coal terminal and a 350,000 TEU container terminal. There are also plans for a 35 million ton capacity oil terminal.
As previously reported, oil major Rosneft has signaled that it will take a leading role in the Murmansk Transport Hub initiative.
Russia is prepared to protect its interests in the Arctic with military means if necessary, says Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu, pointing to the increasing interest in the region’s resources by countries with no direct access to the Arctic.
Development of tourism is one of Russia’s prioritized areas to secure its presence on the archipelago of Svalbard. The state company Trust Arktikugol is now registered as a tour operator and could welcome its first guests to the Arctic wilderness.
The UK needs to up its game in the Arctic or risk being «outmaneuvered” by other states, and should start by appointing an ambassador to the region, according to a report by the House of Lords Arctic Committee.