Sunday, July 21, 2024

Russia considering expansion of Arctic Lavna port rail infrastructure

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As Russia is looking to diversify its trade routes, the Arctic has caught its eye. The region hosts the Lavna port, and Russian Railways (RZD) may now double rail infrastructure capacity to that facility. The port is an important hub for Russia’s coal exports.

The port of Lavna, located close to Norway in the Arctic, was opened with coal exports in mind. Its yearly capacity amounts to 18 million tonnes, but RZD is now considering expanding that capacity at least twofold.

“We are looking at the next stage, at the further construction of extra terminals”, says RZD’s deputy director. “We are now building infrastructure made for 18 million tonnes of capacity, but ideas are arising for 36 to 41 million tonnes. These proposals need conceptualisation and formalisation.”

Lavna port to open up new directions

At the moment, Russia is still working on the rail line that will allow 18 million tonnes of goods to be exported through Lavna. However, it seems to be positive enough about the future of the port to already consider upgrades.

Russian media write that the Lavna port will open new export directions for Russian coal thanks to unhindered access to the neutral water of the global ocean. At the same time, the deep waters of the port will allow large-capacity vessels. The port does not freeze and does not require ice-breakers to keep it accessible.

The Arctic route

Russia is actively looking for new avenues for trade, to secure and diversify its export connections with the outside world. It sees opportunities in the Arctic region, where climate change is making the sea easier to traverse. Earlier, Russia launched an “Arctic Express” train from Moscow to Arkhangelsk in order to strengthen trade with China and relieve the overloaded Far East rail infrastructure.

It seems that Russia considers the Lavna port similarly suitable as an additional export route. Last year, RZD said that the port will be part of the International North-South Transport Corridor. It indicates that Russia plans to include the port in the wider global logistics network that connects the country to its ally Iran and friendly India.

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