Russian authorities have announced details of several infrastructure investments in the project to make the Northern route between Asia and Europe attractive to shipping lines all year round.
The RUB75bn (US$1.1bn) project has been made possible by global warming and would cut three weeks off normal sailing times between East Asia and Europe.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has been tasked with drafting and approving a plan for the route by June 1 2015.
Authorities in the Yamal-Nenets region of Northern Russia announced that a permanent five-person customs task force would be set up next year, with its office at the new Port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula, a port which is expected to be fully operational by 2016.
New berths will be opened up at this port to accommodate more vessels as authorities want to increase the port’s capacity.
A new RUB600m (US$8.8m) 180km railway will also be built by Swedish company Rice Capital between Sabetta and Bovanenko, which will carry cargo to the port as well as serving the Yamal LNG plant.
Governor of Yamal Dmitry Kobylkin told The Siberian Times: “Sweden is a small country but I am amazed by the number of investments in rail infrastructure. Almost all the country is connected via railways. They see that the future of the Russian north belongs to the railways and they are willing to invest. And they are right to do so.”