Most of Norilsk Nickel's cargo traffic is concentrated in the western part of the Northern Sea Route, but Ravil Nasybullov, director of the company's logistics department, does not rule out the possibility that commodity flows will be redirected to the East, which requires the use of icebreakers on the route, according to Russian specialized publication portnews reports.
If the company is not under sanctions, the European contractors refuse to work with producers in Russia.
The Finnish state railway VR said from 2023 it will stop transporting Russian cargoes. All of Norilsk Nickel's cargoes are transported by rail between the Russian and Finnish divisions. By 2023, these decisions push the Russians to look for alternative logistics routes.
In addition to the turbulence in geopolitics, the Russian Arctic has seen expansion in capacity and the development of shipping along one of the region's largest rivers, the Yenisei.
The growth in shipping is spurred by a series of new industrial projects in the Taymyr Peninsula, several of which are operated by Nornickel.
Vladimir Potanin is the head of the company, which invests up to 26 billions rubles 300 million in the modernization of local infrastructure. It includes a new logistics center.
Nikolai Utkin, company representative, said at the opening ceremony of the new center that it will positively affect the local goods delivery process.
He said it was a new direction, a project on the digitalization of production.
Nornickel has not been sanctioned by the international community, unlike many of Russia's other industrial majors, and shipments of nickel and other precious metals have continued to reach western manufacturers.
Utkin underlines that transportation issues are of crucial importance today.
The organization and construction of efficient logistics chains has always been a priority for us, after all we are in the periphery with complicated conditions for goods transportation and limited time for navigation — it has required smooth and tedious work. One of Nornickel's ongoing development projects in the area is the construction of a new processing plant in Talnakh, as well as a major renovation program for the city of Norilsk.