China is breaking into Arctic transport through a joint venture between the country’s biggest ocean carrier, Cosco Shipping Holdings Co, and its Russian counterpart PAO Sovcomflot to move natural gas from Siberia to Western and Asian markets, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The state-owned companies will operate a fleet of a dozen ice-breaking liquefied natural gas tankers from Russia’s massive Yamal LNG project along the northern coast of central Siberia to destinations in Northern Europe, Japan, South Korea and China. China Shipping LNG Investment Co, a Cosco unit, will operate another nine such vessels, according to maritime data provider VesselsValue Ltd.
The agreement comes a year after Beijing released its first Arctic policy white paper in which it said it said it would encourage investment across the northern sea route and conduct commercial sailings that would be part of a “Polar Silk Road.”
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