Gazprom says No to Murmansk special port zone
The Russian gas giant and licenseholder of the Shtokman field does not want the establishment of a free economic port zone in Murmansk.
Regional authorities in Murmansk have worked hard for the establishment of a free economic port zone, planned as a key element in the region’s bid for new investments and industrial initiatives linked with the upcoming oil and gas boom in the Barents Sea.
Now, however, the project is in jeopardy because of key stakeholder Gazprom’s reluctance to engage in the initiative. Gazprom argues that the special status zone will not be in its interests because it does not allow for raw material processing, newspaper Izvestia reports. The company plans for the building of a huge regional LNG plant as part of the Shtokman project, and company representatives underline that the regulations for port zones either will have to be amended, or Gazprom will need to get special exceptions.
The port zone project is likely to be abandoned, Izvestia concludes.
The official approval from the federal Ministry of Economic Development in 2010 was celebrated in the regional administration, which subsequent quickly started the establishment of a regional working group headed by First Deputy Governor Natalya Portnaya.
The status as economic zone includes favourable tax and customs conditions and less red tape.