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According to the document signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's government allocated 205 207 thousand rubles for the resumption of national research expeditions in the Arctic. It will "contribute to the stabilization and development of Russian efforts in the world's oceans, including in connection with the growing needs of wildlife in the Arctic and environmental protection". Moreover, the creation of a national atlas of the Arctic is planned.
The document states that the North Pole drifting stations are a key facilitator of Russia's presence in the Arctic, securing its priority in comprehensive exploration activities. Program of floating research stations was launched in 1937 and was shut down in 2013 due to adverse weather conditions in the Arctic. "North Pole" is expected to have an operation period of 2,5-3 months in 2015. The staff of the station will consist of 16 people.
The main objective of the station activity is to continue complex field studies of the central Arctic basin's environment, necessary for improving methods of hydrometeorological support of economic activity in the Arctic region, the document stated. Works on organization of the station will be carried out by "Polar Foundation", non-profit organization, established in November of 2000 by "Association of polar explorers" interregional public organization and a group of individuals - scientists and polar explorers. The funds are allocated within the federal budget provided for Roshydromet in 2015.
As for the future national atlas of the Arctic, according to RIA Novosti, Rosreestr held a tender on its creation. The initial price of the contract is 10 million rubles. The work on the creation of a national atlas of the Arctic is to be completed by December 1, 2015.
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin entrusted to create the national atlas of the Arctic zone, following the meeting on the efficient and safe exploration of the Arctic held last June.
Minvostokrazvitiya introduced to the RF government laws on creation and activities of the free port of Vladivostok. Free port is supposed to include 13 municipal territories. The list of the new free port residents can include sea ports, airport and tourist companies. Special economic conditions are to be created for the residents for 70 years with a possibility to extend this period.
Free Port area will be managed by the Supervisory Board with broad powers.
Draft laws have been approved in the federal bodies of executive power and were discussed in public debates in Vladivostok and Moscow. They have been amended, taking into account the requests of city and regional authorities. After the projects are approved by the government and disagreements between the federal bodies of executive power are settled, draft laws will be submitted for consideration to the State Duma.
Commercial Port of Vladivostok (CPV) signed a contract with the company "SOLVO" on the purchase of "SOLVO.TOS" automated control system for the container terminal. The new system will improve the efficiency of container handling by increasing the speed of operations and reducing overall costs.
"SOLVO.TOS" will provide operational planning, implementation and control of all operations at the container terminal. It will track the movement of containers, obtain accurate information about their whereabouts, group containers for the purpose of effective use of terminal spaces, and automate document workflow.
The project will increase the speed of handling containers and productivity by 20%, the terminal cargo turnover by 15%, and will provide a 15% reduction in management costs. The system will improve the quality of service for customers.
Testing of the system is scheduled for November 2015, and it will be fully operational by April 2016.
"This is the first step in implementation of the Vladivostok port complex automation program. In the future, we plan to automate the handling of general cargo and other items, and then combine everything into a joint control and management system. We also have similar plans for our dry cargo terminals in Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, "- said Konstantin Sokolov, the president of the FESCO Transport Group.
JSC "Vladivostok sea trading port" (part of the FESCO Transport Group) is one of the largest stevedoring companies in the Far East of Russia. It provides services for handling container, general, bulk, ro-ro cargo. The port has 15 berths with a total length of more than 3 km. The port processed over 500.000 TEU in 2014.
Transport Group FESCO - one of the largest private transport and logistics companies in Russia with assets in the port, railroad and integrated logistics business. Its fleet includes 22 transport ships and four diesel-powered icebreakers in long-term lease.
The company "SOLVO" is a leading Russian expert in logistics processes automation and information systems developer. It was founded in 1995 and today became a leader in the implementation of automated control systems to manage container, cargo terminals, ports, warehouses and logistics centers, having successfully completed more than 190 projects in Russia, CIS and Baltic countries.
The South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries has won the tender for the construction of a floating regasification unit for "Gazprom".
In accordance with its terms, the South Korean company will build a vessel designed for regasification of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for "Gazprom Fleet" (a subsidiary of "Gazprom") for 294.77 million dollars.
Two other South Korean companies - Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering took part in this tender.
Currently, Russia has one LNG plant, working in the framework of "Sakhalin-2" project. "Gazprom" plans to build two plants - "Vladivostok LNG" in the Far East and the "Baltic LNG" in the Leningrad region.
According to mass-media reports, based on the information from Russia vice-premier Arkady Dvorkovich, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) is considering the possibility to increase the share in the project "Yamal LNG".
The project is aimed at creation of Russian center for liquefied natural gas (LNG) with a capacity of 16.5 million tons per year on the resource base of one of the fields in the Yamal Peninsula, involves the creation of an LNG plant and transport infrastructure, including a sea port and an airport near the settlement of Sabetta (North-East part of the Yamal Peninsula) and is developed by the company "Yamal LNG" whose shareholders are Russian gas company NOVATEK - 60%, French Total - 20% and CNPC - 20%.
Proven and probable gas reserves at the field are 907 billion cubic meters.
Now the readiness of the facilities is 25%, until the end of 2015 "Yamal LNG" plans to complete 45% of the plant's construction and to put it into effect until the end of 2017.
In the middle of April, 2015, the head of NOVATEK Leonid Michelson said that NOVATEK expects to sell 9% stake in "Yamal LNG" until the middle of 2015. But he didn't call potential buyers while announcing the news.
As it is reported, in late April, the South Korean government has announced plans to expand the capacity of the so-called "New port" in Busan.
The project includes the construction of 15 new piers to increase the power of port facilities for processing and shipment of containerized cargo of about 15.8 million TEU. The government is investing 45 billion Korean won ($42 million) in dredging works on the approaches to the port in order to reach the depth up to 17 meters. That will allow the port to handle largest of the existing container ships.
As well, the president of Busan port Authority Lim Ki-taek reported about the plans to build facilities for LNG bunkering operations by 2018 and to develop logistic park in the neighborhood.
The construction of the new port in 25 km from the old one began in 1994. At present time among the originally planned 30 piers at the port 22 are really working, 8 more are under construction. The total container throughput of Busan port by the end of 2014 amounted to 18.68 millions of TEU, including 64% of transshipment or 11, 93 millions of TEU through the new port.
© Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, NPO «Asia-Pacific Journal of Marine Science&Education. Editors Board».