Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries has taken over the management of the Murmansk Sea Fishing Port from its previous private owners, replacing the port’s director following long-term inefficiencies and development failures at Russia’s primary northern waters fishing port.
‘Murmansk Sea Fishing Port is a strategic facility for the country. It is very important that it be passed into the jurisdiction of the Federal Agency for Fisheries. By the end of June, we will prepare and then submit to the Government a plan for the development of the port. We plan to maintain specialisation in fisheries, and to create capacities for ship repair, including for fishing vessels,’ stated Agency head Ilya Shestakov.
‘A new port director has been appointed, and a meeting has been held with the team. Unfortunately, the former owners took a lot out of the port assets. Now we will take an inventory, sort it out carefully so as not to disrupt the current work. We have to build a modern, powerful logistics facility on the basis of the existing infrastructure.’
He commented that for the Northern Basin, taking into account sanctions, the development of the Murmansk Sea Fishing Port is very significant and these large-scale tasks need to be solved, adding that it is necessary to maintain a sustainable fishery, and for this it is necessary to provide comprehensive ship services on the Russian coast.
According to the Agency, investors have already shown interest in the project.
‘These are both state-owned and private companies. We aim to develop a plan, collect a pool of potential investors and assess their possible participation. A number of efficient companies are still operating in the port, they will remain and continue to work, but under the management of the state. In addition, we will invest public funds in deepening and reconstruction,’ he said.
He noted that Murmansk Sea Fishing Port is a strategically important logistics hub for the industry, an ice-free year-round port, the starting point of the Northern Sea Route, and a platform for the export of fish products.
‘We have a lot of work to do to create a modern cluster at the port site for handling fish cargo in the Northern Basin, the second largest catch area in our country, but just as important as the Far East for supplying the domestic market and developing exports of fish products,’ Ilya Shestakov said.
The project for the integrated development of the port includes a plant for the processing of fish products, storage of live catches, a container terminal, a refrigeration warehouse complex, a cluster for full processing of crab and the production of component products for pharmaceuticals.
According to preliminary estimates, the capital costs for modernisation will amount to at least 6 billion rubles.