The President of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov and Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee Alexey Miller signed the agreement on the joint implementation of the Northern Latitudinal Railway (NLR) construction project.
Under the agreement, Gazprom will establish a special-purpose subsidiary for the project. The subsidiary will provide for the reconstruction and technological enhancement of the 112-km Nadym – Pangody rail section.
In its turn, Russian Railways intends to create a special-purpose entity, which will serve as a concessionaire and will, among other things, build the Obskaya – Salekhard – Nadym section, reconstruct the Pangody – Novy Urengoy – Korotchaevo section, and construct railway parts of the bridges over the Ob and Nadym Rivers.
At a later stage, it is planned to lease the Nadym – Pangody section to the special-purpose entity of Russian Railways.
The NLR project envisages the establishment of direct communications between the Severnaya and Sverdlovskaya railways along the Obskaya – Salekhard – Nadym – Pangody – Novy Urengoy – Korotchaevo route in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. The NLR will be 707 km long and will have the annual tonnage capacity of about 24 million tons of cargo.
In February 2017, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area Governor Dmitry Kobylkin said that the construction of Northern Latitudinal Railway project will be launched in 2018. Previously, Russian Railways and the government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area signed an agreement on a joint implementation.
The total cost of the project is USD 2.6 billion and the rail bridge over the Ob river is estimated at USD 957 million.
The NLR will serve as a transport artery linking Gazprom’s fields in the Yamal Peninsula and the Nadym-Pur-Taz region to the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area’s largest cities – Nadym, Salekhard, and Novy Urengoy – and the under-construction Novy Urengoy Gas Chemical Complex. The line will remove infrastructure limitations by forging transport links between Yamal and European Russia’s industrial facilities and ports. It will help substantially improve the logistical processes at Gazprom’s facilities and shorten cargo supply routes.
The project has significant public importance, as it will give an impetus to economic and social development in the Russian Arctic. The Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area is home to some of Gazprom’s key fields, which are expected to provide the bulk of Russia’s natural gas in the long term. To ensure efficient field development, the transport infrastructure should be expanded accordingly.