Covid cases treble in Russia’s Arctic LNG project

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 at a sealed-off LNG megaproject in the Arctic Murmansk region of Russia have more than trebled in the last 10 days, hitting 791 on Saturday, 25 April.

The site in Belokamenka is under constant surveillance of company security personnel, police and military, with CCTV camera’s placed along the site’s perimeter, Russian state news agency Tass reports.

The case tally was issued Saturday by the local covid crisis centre. On 14 April, 206 workers were confirmed to have contracted the disease. 

The site is part of the $21bn Arctic LNG 2 project being built for Novatek, Russia’s largest private natural gas supplier. Some 11,000 workers are working on the project.

Tass said the Russian emergencies minister had deployed a mobile hospital with a capacity of 40 patients nearby.

Those ill with the coronavirus  at the Belokamenka construction site represent the bulk of cases in the whole Murmansk region, which stands at 961.

"Strict quarantine measures have been in place at the construction site for more than a month," the crisis centre said, according to Tass.

One of the contractors there, Velesstroy, said that 475 employees had been flown out on charter flights.

Image: Novatek’s Yamal plant, the largest LNG facility in the Arctic Circle (Novatek)

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