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April 11, 2019 11:15 AM, EDT

Iceland Builds Arctic Port as Global Shipping Routes Get Redrawn

A national flag is seen on the hull of a commercial fishing vessel moored in the harbor in Reykjavik, Iceland (Arnaldur Halldorsson/Bloomberg News)

As global warming creates shipping routes that can cut across the northern tip of the planet, a new port is being built on the fringe of the Arctic circle.

Germany’s Bremenports GmbH has entered a deal to develop a deep vessel port together with Icelandic partners, according to a statement April 11. Bremenports will initially own two-thirds of the joint venture, while Icelandic engineering firm Efla will control about a quarter. The rest will be co-owned by two Icelandic municipalities.

Ships stopping at the new Icelandic port on the island’s northern tip stand to reduce their travel time considerably. “If the northeast passage between Asia and the U.S. becomes navigable all year round, the journey times between these continents will be reduced by more than two weeks,” Bremenports said.

The port also envisions becoming a hub for Greenlandic commodities exports, as well as Icelandic hydrogen.

The development phase will take three to five years. The partnership, called Finnafjord Port Development Co., is also in talks with a fund for investments later this year.