East Coast of Iceland, situated at the both entrance to and exit from the Arctic Ocean becomes more and more of an interest for majority of the Arctic states. It appears as a perfect location for trans-shipment operations in the North Atlantic Ocean and gives the opportunity to shorten the route of ice class vessels.
The Arctic shipping operations become more financially efficient as the ice class containers do not need to transport cargoes further afield.
Icelandic hub port to be located on the East Coast of Iceland can become highly competitive option for trans-Arctic hug-port positioning because, as the statistics show, it is capable of handling more than 100.000 twenty foot equivalent unit of annual shipments, what is more than currently handled by the Port of Reykjavik.
The port, with its infrastructure would need to be able to handle millions of cargo containers every year and provide berths up to 400 m in length and at least 20m deep be able to cope with the vessels up to 430 m long and 58 m wide with a draught of 16.5 m.
There are certain disadvantages concerning finding a suitable location as the Icelandic shore is known to be exposed to fog, swell and wind, reaching even up to 80m/s what can cause difficulties in handling large ships and cranes which are especially susceptible to harsh weather conditions. Demanding climate could also challenge future operations of extending the hub facilities or building new wharfs to allow an increase in shipping.
Icelandic cheap, renewable electricity and water for industrial use, are doubtless advantages for the future hub, as trans-shipment operations demand a substantial and perpetual supply of energy. Proximity to the airports with frequent international connections is also an important asset as it could link the marine and air transportation routes. Repair and maintenance services, provided by experienced professionals, available at the low cost as well as storages for oil supplies are necessities to fulfill needs of a fleet and a crew.
The question arises while considering financial feasibility of Iceland to handle such an investment with the possible total cost of 900 million Euros. However, attainable cooperation between governments of the Arctic states and private investors would fasten the project not only on commercial ground. It has been known that Russia is strongly interested in such cooperation as well as other big export nations.
To see the whole project, please be advised with the information booklet for Dreki Area.
Sources: Dreki Area North Meets North: Navigation and the Future of the Arctic Northern Sea Route Project