Murmansk economic zone is history

Port of Murmansk will not become a special economic zone after all.

Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development proposes to close the special economic zone in Port of Murmansk because of lack of demand. Since the zone was opened in 2010, not one single company has been registered as resident.


An agreement on the establishment of a special economic zone in the Port of Murmansk was signed by then Governor of Murmansk Oblast Dmitry Dmitriyenko and the Ministry of Economic Development in November 2010. The zone was supposed to give a boost to the development of the Murmansk Transport Hub and facilitate base-establishments as part of the Shtokman project.

The port zone, covering a 30.5 square kilometer area on both sides of the Kola Bay, was expected to create more than 1500 new jobs.

Since 2010 Murmansk has spent 56 million rubles (€1.16 million) on planning and preparing for the economic zone, but no private investors have been interested in spending money on the project, RBC reports.

In 2012 gas giant and license holder of the Shtokman field Gazprom rejected to engage in the initiative, arguing that the special status zone will not be in the company’s interests because it does not allow for raw material processing. Gazprom had plans for the building of a huge regional LNG plant as part of the Shtokman project. Shtokman was put on hold in August 2012, after Norway’s Statoil withdrew from the project.

The Ministry of Economic Development proposes that the special economic zone should be closed and that the Port of Murmansk should be developed “in a different format, using the mechanisms of private-public partnership”, according to RBC.