• 2022 August 25

    Russian bidders under dredging projects

    Image source: MRTS

    With the Big Four dredging companies of Europe having left Russia, the tenders under the Arctic projects attract Russian businesses. MezhRegionTruboprovodStroy JSC (MRTS) is registered as a bidder for maintenance dredging in the water area and on the access canal to terminal Utrenny (port Sabetta) in the navigation season of 2022 under NOVATEK’s Arctic LNG 2 project. The contract price is RUB 246.6 million. Experts say that more domestic companies can step up while involvement of foreign companies will depend on availability of their facilities and on contract prices

    MRTS is the only bidder in the tender for maintenance dredging at Sabetta port’s terminal Utrenny on the Yamal peninsula for RUB 246.6 million, according to the official website of the Unified State Procurement Information System. The tender results are to be announced on September 9. 

    Port construction site in Sabetta. Image source: MRTS

    The Utrenny terminal is section No 2 of Sabetta seaport in the framework of NOVATEK’s Arctic LNG 2 project. The terminal construction including the federally owned facilities and the reconstruction of the seaway canal are included into the Comprehensive Plan for Modernization and Expansion of Core Infrastructure (CPMI) until 2024. 5.6-km long and 510-m wide access canal to the Utrenny terminal will ensure navigation in fast and drift ice conditions. The scope of dredging is estimated at about 60 million cbm, the cost of dredging works – at RUB 37.5 billion. Total cost of the LNG terminal is RUB 95.7 billion with the state budget of the Russian Federation covering 70% of the project cost. 

    The Utrenny terminal will ensure export shipment of 21.6 million tonnes of hydrocarbons under Arctic LNG 2 project

    FSUE Hydrographic Company, a company of Rosatom, provides navigation and hydrographic support in the water area of the Northern Sea Route including the survey of bottom relief for keeping navigation charts and guides up-to-date, for providing the Northern Sea Route waters with aids to navigation and for informing seafarers about changing navigation circumstances. The company acts as a contractor under the projects on construction and operation of new port infrastructure facilities within the Northern Sea Route.

    Hydrographic Company has been conducting dredging works in the water area of the Utrenny from 2019. Total amount of the material dredged over three years exceeds 24 million cbm. 

    IAA PortNews has obtained no comments from MRTS. Hydrographic Company does not comment on the tender results before they are announced officially. 

    Image source: Hydrographic Company

    As IAA PortNews reported earlier, contractors representing the Big Four dredging companies (Van OordBoskalis, Jan de Nul, DEME) which account for over 98% of dredging works in Russian ports withdrew from Russia’s Arctic infrastructure projects in February 2022. 

    As of today, Russian market of dredging depends on foreign companies. There are five companies in the world able to conduct the required scope of works within the limited period of navigation in the Arctic conditions — those are the Big Four dredging companies and Chinese company СССС.

    Russian fleet of technical ships is inferior to that of the global leaders in terms of types of ships, performance, equipment and technologies. Thus, it cannot ensure implementation of tasks on port infrastructure development. Major operators of dredgers in Russia are FSUE Rosmorport (9 units) and Hydrostroy LLC (5 units). Besides, MRTS has two dredging ships with Baltdraga CJSC and OTEKO owning one dredger each. Capital dredging works under the key projects are to exceed 30 million cbm by 2025. The scope of works includes dredging under the project on reconstruction of Seaway Canal in the Gulf of Ob, dredging at oil terminal “Port Bukhta Sever”, development of “Utrenny” terminal, dredging for construction of a coal terminal based on the reserves of the Syradasayskoye field and a multifunctional terminal in the area of Cape Nagleynyn.

    Maintenance dredging tasks are also crucial. In the Gulf of Ob alone (Seaway Canal, port Sabetta and terminal Utrenny) maintenance dredging will total 1 million cbm in 2022 and at least 3 million cbm in 2023 taking into account the completion of major dredging projects. After 2024, over 5 million cbm of material brought by underwater current should be dredged annually to ensure safe navigation in the Gulf of Ob.

    RF Government used to bring up an issue of establishing a dredging company but no ad hoc decisions have been made yet. According to estimations of Hydrographic Company, at the first phase, in 2023-2028, the company is to build at least four auxiliary ships worth about EUR 140 million (estimations are based on European shipyards offer). In the future, the company’s technical fleet is to be expanded with total investments estimated at over EUR 200 million according to preliminary calculations. Both newbuildings and ships to be acquired in the secondary market are taken into account.

    Image source: Arctic LNG 2 website

    Experts earlier shared their skepticism about the idea of creating a new dredging company basing on Hydrographic Company. However, Mikhail Grigoryev, Head of consulting company Gecon, believes that in the current circumstances the entry of other foreign companies to the Russian market will depend on availability of their facilities and contract prices. Besides, the expert emphasizes that time is needed for their ships delivery to the operation sites in the Arctic.

    Following the article publication, press center of MRTS Holding shared the statement of Linar Gataullin, Deputy General Director for Engineering and Development, according to which the works are to be completed in the summer navigation season of 2022 by the company’s own fleet including up to two hopper dredgers. No comments on participation of MRTS in further state tenders for dredging have been provided.

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Yana Wojciechowska