Kirkenes can become the gateway to all the new Arctic shipping lanes that opens as the sea-ice melts away and new icebreaking tankers are designed.
“We believe Gamneset is the best location in Sør-Varanger,” Jacob B. Stolt-Nielsen told. He owns the newly established Norterminal AS, the company to build what they call the “new strategic oil-terminal in Finnmark.”
Gamneset is located near Kirkenes main airport in a fjord that shelters a possible new harbor and terminal facilities from the open and rough Barents Sea. Russian waters are just a few hours away.
Kirkenes is believed to be a central trans-shipment location for the Northern Sea Route along Russia’s Arctic coast to Asia. To the west is the Northwest Passage, believed to be important for oil shipments out of Arctic Canada. Shipdesigners, like Aker Arctic in Helsinki, are already talking about a Trans Polar Route straight across the North Pole. The rapid melting of the Arctic ice-cap is changing the geopolitical map in the north with new global trading routes for shipping.
“Development of new oilfields in the Barents Sea and the opening of new shipping lanes from Russia and Norway makes Finnmark to a strategic suitable place for interim storage of oil,” says Stolt Nielsen. He confirms that they are looking to Russia for customers to deliver oil to the new terminal.