Russian governor outlines master plan for Arctic outpost

The future of Dikson, Russia on the agenda. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
The future of Dikson, Russia on the agenda. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Two new sea ports must be built to serve the projected grand coal project in the area, Russian regional governor Viktor Tolokonsky says.

A new industrial cluster should be developed around Dikson, Tolokonsky argues. According to the regional leader, two new port facilities, each with a projected annual capacity of five million tons of goods, must be built in order to serve the nearby Taybass coal basin. In addition, service centers for the shipping industry, rescue services, as well as ship fuel and repair service can be established, he says.

Tolokonsky spoke in a recent meeting in his regional Polar Commission, a body established to follow up regional Arctic initiatives.

The Taybass is believed to hold some of the biggest remaining coal reserves in the country. It is located near the western shore of the Taymyr Peninsula. Coal production in the area is planned boosted to 20 million tons already in year 2020, the Krasnoyarsk regional government informs.

The project is developed by the Arctic Ore Company and Vostokugol.

Former Arctic military hub

As previously reported, the ice-protected «Ivan Papanin» in early May left Murmansk with a shipload of mining equipment, including special excavators and tractors. More shiploads will follow the same route to Dikson every month all through the summer season.

Dikson was founded in 1915 and grew into a small town as the importance of the Arctic increased for the Soviet Union. Dikson served a Polar station with a radio communication unit and a metrological and geophysical observatory. During Cold War, an airfield was built and smaller military units deployed.

Today, there is only about 500 people left in town.

Dikson is named after a Swede. Arctic explorer Baron Oscar Dickson sailed on numerous voyages along Russia’s remote Siberian coast. With pockets full of money, Dickson sponsored way more famous expeditions, like Nordenskiold’s North east Passage voyage with “Vega” and Fridtjof Namsen’s Arctic sea ice journey with the “Fram”.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Construction season ends on Arctic Canadian highway, Eye on the Arctic

Norway:  Norway improving infrastructure on Arctic island, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Murmansk, Russia: Transport hub trouble, again, Barents Observer

United States:  Plans to raise Arctic Alaska highway with 2 million tons of gravel, Alaska Dispatch News



Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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