Construction of Zhatai Shipyard is the only project in Yakutia included into the state programme of the Russian Federation “Development of shipbuilding and facilities for offshore fields” being implemented under the aegis of Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. The hi-tech shipyard will build modern river-going vessels for modernization of the Lena river fleet involved in cargo deliveries to the Arctic areas of Yakutia. In his interview with IAA PortNews, Andrey Tarasenko, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), tells about the shipyard construction.
—Mr. Tarasenko, what has been done under the project? How far has it proceeded?
— The Zhatai Shipyard construction began in May 2019. Zero-level works on construction of the main building (hull production workshop) have been completed over that period. In particular, the works included demolition of two buildings, clearing up of the construction site, excavation of 94,400 cbm of soil. A pit has been excavated, 1,157 piles have been manufactured and installed, temperature stabilization of permafrost soil has been performed with laying of 15,000 meters of cooling pipes.
Underway is the assembling of metal structures of the hull production workshop. Some 2,167.9 tonnes of metal structures have been assembled already.
The first phase of construction is to be completed in December 2021.
—How did you manage to resolve certain problems of the shipyard construction faced last year?
— Indeed, the construction slowed down last year due to the coronavirus infection and severe frosts in December-February (the temperature was lower than usual in this period). The General Contractor has addressed the problem of completing the construction and assembly works.
A catch up schedule has been developed. The rates of construction and assembly works have already reached those foreseen by that schedule.
As for registration of ownership for land plots and some facilities, LORP and Zhatai Shipyard are currently working on handing over 17 real estate units required for the project implementation..
—What is the source of financing under Phase I of the project. Is there a need for additional resources?
— The project is estimated at RUB 5.75 billion. Initially approved structure of financing was as follows: RUB 4.1 billion from the federal budget, RUB 750 million to be invested by the Sakha Republic Development Corporation with the remaining RUB 894.5 million to be raised by Zhatai Shipyard JSC.
The Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) approved a decision to cover the resources raised by Zhatai Shipyard from the 2021–2026 budget of Yakutia.
Negotiations are underway with Sberbank, Sberbank Leasing and Russian Regional Development Bank on a possible participation in this investment project. We expect the decisions of those banks’ credit commissions in the nearest future.
—Is further development of the shipyard foreseen?
— The design and budget documentation for Phase II is nearing completion. The sources of financing are being discussed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia.
—Is there a list of ships to be built by the shipyard? When is the first ship to be delivered?
— It will take at least one year to build the first ship, so it is to be delivered in 2023.
The production programme of Zhatai Shipyard foresees the construction of 17 oil ships with a total capacity of 36,000 tonnes. There is a plan to build one river/sea class barge with a capacity of 4,300 tonnes; six ТО‑4000 tankers of «О» class with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes (draft — 1.8 meters); five МН‑2000 barges of «О» class with a capacity of 2,500 tonnes (draft — 1.8 meters); six dry bulk / liquid bulk vessels of «О» class with a capacity of 800 tonnes.
Also, to maintain the capacity of cargo fleet operating in the Lena river basin and supplying vital cargoes to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the framework of the Northern Delivery programme it is planned to build 17 dry cargo carriers and auxiliary ships: three self-propelled dry cargo carriers of with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes (Project СК‑4000, «О» class); five barges (including 2 barges of mixed river/sea class); seven tugboats (including 4 of mixed river/sea class); Floating crane R3 РМРС; non-self-propelled suction dredger of 1,000 cbm/h in capacity.
—How old is the current Lena river fleet on the average?
— More than 700 ships of various types are in operation in the Lena Basin every navigation. With the statutory service life of 24 years, the fleet is 38 years old. It was a timely decision to build a hi-tech shipyard as inland water transport in Yakutia has no alternatives and needs modernization.
—How will you address the staffing issues typical for the domestic shipbuilding industry?
— According to the revised recruitment needs the fully operational Zhatai Shipyard will need 664 people including 323 of production personnel, 119 of auxiliary personnel, 222 employees working in two shifts.
It is Zhatai technical college that serves as a base of professional education. Besides, specialists are trained at Water Transport Institute of Yakutsk and State Water Transport University of Siberia. Subject matter expert will be attracted from other regions of the country. For that purpose we are designing a company dormitory and a multi-storey block of flats for the shipyard employees. In the future, we will build kindergartens child daycare centres and schools. Construction of medical centers is under consideration.
—What social and economic effect is expected from the project implementation?
— Construction of advanced ships will let as face several tasks, primarily, continuous delivery of cargoes to remote Northern settlements under the Northen Delivery programme, reduce the environmental impact on the Lena Basin through operation of modern and efficient ships with double hulls and double bottoms, raise labor performace, decrease the cost of transportation and implement investment projects in the Arctic and Northern territories of Yakutia.