Projects to turn Pomorye into a development hub for the entire Russian Arctic25 july 2022
25 July 2022 // On 21-22 July, Aleksey Chekunkov, the Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, visited the Arkhangelsk Region. Over two days, the head of the federal department was convinced that projects covering areas from high-tech industry to the hotel business are being successfully implemented in Pomorye. Many will now enjoy even bigger support at the federal level.
On the first day of his visit, Aleksey Chekunkov joined the Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Aleksandr Tsybulskiy on a tour of Pomorye's industrial enterprises.
The mining and processing plant at the V.P. Grib Diamond Deposit now contributes almost RUB 4 billion in taxes to the regional budget, a RUB 1.6 billion inscrease from 2020. However, its further development depends on the construction of a high-voltage power transmission line, worth about RUB 8 billion. Aleksandr Tsybulskiy suggested considering the possibility of federal financing for the project. 'We will support this project. It is environmentally sound, too,' Aleksey Chekunkov assured.
The Diamond Technopark will be opened next to the mining and processing plant in 2024. It will produce not only natural, but also synthetic diamonds. The monocrystals grown here will be used in the production of quantum sensors, ultra-pure diamonds, and diamond-based tools. The investor, Boreal Diamonds LLC, has already been assigned the Russian Arctic Zone resident status.
The Minister paid special attention to the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill. The agreement on a major overhaul of this plant was an important result of SPIEF 2022. The modernisation project will increase the plant's output and create 200 new jobs, while the transition from coal-fired power generation to natural gas will help mitigate damage to the Arctic nature.
'This project is both trendy and environmentally friendly,' Aleksey Chekunkov believes. 'We can already see that the Arkhangelsk Region has an extensive enough portfolio of projects to justify the creation of a second Arctic advanced exonomic development territory. We will prepare a proposal to that end and submit it to the Russian Government.'
On the second day of his visit, the Minister attended the exhibition of investment projects to be implemented in the Arkhangelsk Region. A supremely important project is the breeding and seed-growing complex, jointly developed by the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and the Northern (Arctic) Federal University. The Minister promised to render support to the regional initiative to provide state support for such projects.
The Arkhangelsk urban space will be transformed after the creation of the Arctic Star student campus. It is a major project to create comfortable accommodation for students and professors, also including infrastructure for fundamental and applied research, startup development, and sports.
'Obviously, a world-class student campus will become a powerful magnet for students and professors, as well as another reason for young people to stay in the Russian North to live and work,' Aleksey Chekunkov said.
The Minister went on to hold a meeting to discuss the development of the region's investment potential. A comprehensive plan for the development of the Arkhangelsk transport hub was discussed. A project for the construction of a deep-water area in the Arkhangelsk seaport with a total yearly capacity of 37.9 million tonnes of cargo was presented. The investor, Talagi Arctic Seaport and Industry Complex LLC, signed an agreement with the Far East and the Arctic Development Corporation, poised to give it the Russian Arctic Zone resident status.
'The deep-water area of the port should become a key element in the infrastructure of the North Sea Route, whose development is a strategic task set by the President,' Aleksandr Tsybulskiy stressed.
The meeting also covered the creation and development of ship repair facilities in Arkhangelsk, as well as state-supported options to increase dock capacity.
'Amid pressure from sanctions imposed by adversary countries, the importance of the Arkhangelsk transport and logistics hub increases manifold,' Aleksey Chekunkov believes. 'In a bid to get rid of the existing infrastructure restrictions, we will opt for the whole range of state support measures, including both direct budget investments and combined programmes based on the public-private partnership mechanism; the Arctic concessions in particular.'
Aleksey Chekunkov also visited the leading Arkhangelsk universities to assess the region's scientific potential.Photo by: Ivan Malygin/Arkhangelsk Region Government Read more Maxim Mironov: Norilsk has every chance to become a leader in sustainable development of the Arctic Interview with Maxim Mironov, Director of the Norilsk Development Agency