Murmansk eyes new railway line from 2013

Murmansk is a major regional transportation hub, both in oil, coal and minerals. Photo: Atle Staalesen/BarentsObserver

The construction of a new railway line to the western side of the Kola Bay could be started in 2013, First Deputy Governor Aleksei Tyukavin says.


For a number of years, the construction of a new railway line along the western shore of the Kola Bay has been a top priority for regional authorities in Murmansk. New Murmansk Governor Marina Kovtun intends to break the deadlock and start the actual implementation of the project. In an interview, First Deputy Governor Aleksei Tyukavin confirms that the Murmansk Transport Hub, the ambitious infrastructure plan, which includes the new railway, is taking new steps in the right direction.

A series of public hearings both on the railway line and the projected coal terminal in Lavna on the western side of the bay is currently being held.  “If an investment decision is signed in the course of fall 2012, then we will have the chance to start the construction of the railway line, as well as the coal terminal, in 2013, Tyukavin says to

The first deputy governor indicates that the former regional administrations have been too ambitious with regard to the Murmansk Transport Hub and that they have built “castles in the air”. Both the two former regional governors Yuri Yevdokimov and Dmitri Dmitriyenko planned a number of more facilities on the western side of the Kola Bay, among them the construction of an oil terminal. Tyukavin does not rule out the construction also of an oil terminal, but underlines that the coal terminal is the primary and most likely object to the built.

He admits however that oil companies foresee a growth in reloading operations following new demands from companies operating in the Arctic, among them Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom  Dobycha Shelf.

Actually, this is the reason why the Murmansk Shipping Company in late May decided to place its 135,000 tanker “Nataly” in the Kola Bay as floating oil terminal, the high-ranking regional official says.

From before, Rosneft uses another supertanker, the “Belokamenka”, as floating terminal in the bay.