DP World eyes ports on Russia's emerging arctic sea route

DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said it is still too early to discuss potential joint ventures in Russia
DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem
DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem

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Dubai-based ports operator DP World hopes to run ports that Russia plans to build along an Arctic sea route intended to shorten shipping times between east and west, according to CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

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Last week, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom and nickel and palladium producer Nornickel signed an agreement to jointly pursue the development of the northern sea route (NSR).

“This is going to change the [economic] growth for Russia,” bin Sulayem said in an interview with Reuters in St. Petersburg. “Russia is creating the fastest route between the North Far East and Europe.”

Russia’s largest private gas producer, Novatek, has already begun using the route to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe and Asia.

“Ports are surrounded by other infrastructure which creates additional value, creates cargos and high value cargoes,” bin Sulayem said. “We have expertise and want to provide our expertise in running and managing and developing and investing into industrial infrastructure [on the NSR also].”

Operating ports on the NSR, bin Sulayem added, will allow DP World to expand further around the globe.

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“I am expanding in India, Italy, Pakistan, Egypt, Africa, in the UK, Ecuador,” he said. “We were always missing Russia. Russia is a link.”

However, bin Sulayem said that it is still too early to discuss potential joint ventures in Russia.

“The [Russian] government will decide which land to give us and we will prepare the projects, we will attract the customers, we will work with industries how to attract, to produce something that we know,” he said.

“We are at early stages [to talk about any stakes]. We will need to sit down with the partners and see, but we will always abide by rules which are laid [by Russia].”

DP World operates 78 terminals around the world, as well as 50 related businesses in more than 40 countries.

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