Mikhail Budnichenko: “The order portfolio of Sevmash is full for the nearest years”
Nuclear-powered missile carriers built by Severedvinsk based Sevmash shipyard have made the core of Russia’s maritime nuclear force. Mikhail Budnichenko, General Director of the defence industry shipyard, tells IAA PortNews about the large-scale modernization of the company parallel to fulfillment of both military and civil strategic orders.
- Mr Budnichenko, what, in your opinion, were the shipyard's landmark events last year?
– Last year ended with good production results showing the growth of key indicators: revenue, income, productivity of work, wages. The number of employees increased by almost a thousand and a half and exceeded 28,500. We succeed in social sphere: one block of flats for the company’s employees was delivered in 2018. That is the sixth residential building built under the corporate housing programme. One more apartment building has been put into operation this year with the construction of three more residential buildings for the plant personnel underway.
As for production, the orders under the state defence programme were fulfilled completely in 2018. Nuclear submarines of the fourth generation, the Knyaz Vldimir and the Kazan, successfully completed mooring trials and their maiden voyages. The construction of serial ships of the Yasen-M and the Borei-A designs in in progress. The cruiser of Project 11442М has undergone repair, modernization and paining of the hull structures with works on painting and insulation of the outer shell underway. Last year, we sighed two three-year contracts with RF Defence Ministry for service maintenance of nuclear submarines of the Borei design. Throughout the year, our specialists were performing scheduled dock works on the Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine in Vilyuchinsk.
We continue our works under the cooperation on the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier and in the oil and gas sphere, that is technical upgrading of the Prirazlomnaya platform. When it comes to technical products we work with a large scope of orders: we manufacture carcasses, hydraulic equipment, shock-absorbing mounts, filters, shipboard furniture etc. The highest demand is for marine bearing and metal goods that are supplied to customers from the Far East to Kaliningrad and Sevastopol.
- What are the targets of Sevmash in 2019?
– This is a landmark year for Sevmash – On December 21, the shipyard will celebrate its 80h anniversary. In general, the tasks are the same – to maintain the pace of work, ensure fulfillment of state defence orders (SDO). We are to conduct the trials of Borei-A and Yasen-M design ships, prepare the cruiser of Project 11442М for dry-dock launching. We continue service maintenance of nuclear submarines under military-technical cooperation as well as technical upgrading of the Prirazlomnaya platform.
And of course, we continue modernization of the company – acquire and install new modern equipment, introduce lean principles.
– What are the trends in the system of awarding SDO?
– The company is loaded with SDO. That is the trend of the post-perestroika pereiod: Russia needs a renovated modern fleet able to repel any aggression. No decline of SDO works is expected in the nearest years.
– When can you begin building multipurpose nuclear submarines of the fifth generation? Is the shipyard ready for construction of such submarines?
– Creation of any nuclear submarine begins from designing at a design bureau. Not before it is ready does the shipyard begin its work. But we have been preparing for construction of advanced military equipment for a long time already – the company is undergoing a large-scale reconstruction in compliance with the state programme “Development of defence industry complex of the Russian Federation”. We comprise 100 subdivisions and 37 production sites. Today, each of them, without any exception, is undergoing upgrading: machine engineering, smelting, casting, thermal, forge-and-pressing and other production facilities. Modernization is going on in a dynamic regime.
– What opportunities will open for the company upon completion of modernization and upgrading of its production facilities?
– Throughout the year of 2018, many workshops of the shipyard saw the delivery and installation of modern equipment under the programme on development of defence industry complex. The new equipment considerably expands the range of tasks that can be solved by the company and reduces expenses and time needed for production. The shipyard is improving the technologies for vacuum production of high-strength steel workpieces, replaces obsolete furnaces, casting machines and other equipment. The hull plating facilities are fitted with automated cleaning, priming and processing of rolled stock. New technologies are applied for manufacture of non-metal goods, polymeric materials and special coatings. Hundreds of equipment units have been installed in woodworking and paint-insulation workshops. The laboratory and research base has been renovated considerably. Creation of new dedicated sites and modernization of the existing ones is underway in the dockyard No1.
One of the key steps of the modernization is the reconstruction of the transport-connecting facility. That will let expand fulfillment of new orders involving building-commission facilities within the schedule through application of efficient technologies involving large-sized block structures. Those works are financed by public funds and own resources of the company. Tens of billions of ruble have been invested in the modernization.
– Are there plans to resume the construction of surface crafts at the facilities of Sevmash?
– If the country leaders set up such a task for us, Sevmash will certainly fulfill it. The more so, as the plant used to build cruisers, large chasers and destroyers. More than 200 surface ships and floating facilities have been launched by Sevmash.
– What period is covered by Sevmash’ backlog of orders? What is the level of loading at the shipyard’s production facilities?
– The portfolio of Sevmash is full for the nearest years. The company’s facilities are loaded. But due to specific production cycle, the loading of the hull-plating and hull-welding facilities will start declining from 2020. To prevent idle period of those workshops we are currently working towards their future loading. In particular, Sevmash is looking into participation in construction of plants under the LNG-2 project (PAO NOVATEK) and LSP-A Kamennomysskoye Morye platform. These projects can ensure a good loading of the above-mentioned workshops.
– When do you expect the completion of negotiations between Sevmash and NOVATEK on possible construction of modules for concrete floating platforms under LNG plant project?
– Sevmash is preparing commercial proposals for participation in the competition. The decision on selection of a contractor is to be made in autumn 2019. Besides, Gazprom is planning tenders for construction of an ice-resistant fixed platform. It will be placed at the Kamennomysskoye Morye field in the southern part of the Gulf of Ob. United Shipbuilding Corporation, Sevmash and Zvezdochka are currently preparing a joint bid for construction of that facility. The project foresees the construction of a platform on a turn-key basis including assembling, testing and launching. An investment decision is to be made by the beginning of 2020.
– Which competences of Sevmash can be in demand for civil shipbuilding?
– Semash specialists have accumulated unique experience in production of civil products. The company has built Russia’s only ice-resistant fixed platform Prirazlomnaya, pontoons, barges and mega-yachts, In the segment of surface ships, it has performed the major overhaul of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
I would like to emphasize, that in 2018 Sevmash conducted technical upgrading of the Prirazlomnaya. That was initially foreseen by the field development project. In the result, the latest technological solutions have been applied to enhance the efficiency of the facility. It is focused on application of the cutting-edge technologies in the Arctic environment. One of the central activities was the modernization of the drilling facility for construction of superdeep controlled directional wells.
Interviewed by Tatyana Vilde.