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2018 January 29

Zvezda hanging over the Baltic

The law securing transportation of cargo loaded on the Northern Sea Route by RF-flagged ships, regardless of cargo origination was signed in late 2017. This law will contribute to localization of Arctic shipbuilding in Russia and will let load domestic shipyards with relevant orders.

Victor Olersky, Deputy Minister of Transport – Head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency, commented:  “This law is a good signal for the related businesses and shipbuilding industry. The task is not only to raise the flag of Russia but also ensure it teams up with the programme on localization of shipbuilding”.

Shipyards of Saint-Petersburg and the Leningrad Region have been traditionally specializing in Arctic shipbuilding.

Baltiysky Zavod and Admiralteiskie Verfi

January of 2018 saw the completion of Baltiysky Zavod reorganization: Baltiysky Zavod – Sudostroyeniye LLC merged into Baltiysky Zavod JSC having completed the creation of a single property and production complex. Separation of the company assets came from the scandal involving United Shipbuilding Corporation and Sergei Pugachev, former owner of the shipyard. To preserve the staff and the competence of the shipyard, USC founded Baltiysky Zavod – Sudostroyeniye LLC which employed most of Baltiysky Zavod personnel. The new entity took over shipbuilding and machine building competence of the strategic enterprise.

According to USC, the key result of the reorganization will be the creation of a single shipbuilding center Baltiysky Zavod focused on construction of vessels with nuclear power units, manufacturing of engineering products for surface ships and submarines under the state defense order. 

“The merger will guarantee out-of-court satisfaction of all the creditor's claims, retain the state control of Baltiysky Zavod activities through United Shipbuilding Corporation and draw a line under a long and hard recovery of shipbuilding in Saint-Petersburg,” emphasized the statement. 

According to USC statement, the merger will let increase the efficiency of the shipyard, create conditions for its development including the programme on modernization of its production facilities and management structure, raise its market value and mitigate risks of nonmanufacturing losses. “Establishment of Baltiysky Zavod JSC guarantees implementation of the state defence orders, particularly participation of the shipyard in the Arctic Programme, emphasized the statement.

Currently Baltiysky Zavod is building three 60MW icebreakers LK-60 of Project 22220 (Arktika, Sibir, Ural) scheduled for delivery in 2017 – 2020.

The 22220-series flagship, the Arktika, was laid down at the shipyard's slipway “A” in November 2013 and launched on June 16, 2016. The Sibir, the first serial ship, was laid down on May 26, 2015 and the Ural – on July 25, 2016.

Initially, the delivery of the lead ship in the series was scheduled for December 2017 with serial ships to be delivered in 2018 and 2020 accordingly. In July 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to postpone the delivery of nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika to 2019. According to open sources, the delay in construction of the icebreaker is associated with the delivery of turbines which were to be tested in Kharkov, Ukraine.  With certain events starting in Ukraine the construction of testing facilities began at Kirov-Energomash plant.
25-MW diesel-electric icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin has been moved from Baltiysky Zavod to Admiralteiskie Verfi.

The construction 25 MW icebreaker of project 22600 named Victor Chernomyrdin began in October 2012. Under the contract, the icebreaker was to be delivered to the customer, FSUE Rosmorport, in 2015. In April 2016, Yevgeny Zagorodny, the then Vice-President of USC for Civil Shipbuilding,   told journalist that the delivery was scheduled for 2016. Then it was said that Baltiysky Zavod could deliver the icebreaker in late 2017 – early 2018. According to recent data the delivery is expected in autumn 2018.

Severnaya Verf

Severnaya Verf is the other large shipyard in Saint-Petersburg. As the company told IAA PortNews, the shipyard will undergo modernization that will let it expand the range product to build large capacity warships and civil vessels. As of today, production capacity of the shipyard is limited by the launching mass of 12,000 t.  The upgraded shipyard will be able to build vessels with launching mass of up to 25,000 t including frigates of new generation, landing crafts, oil tankers and oil&gas production platforms.  

The modernization project foresees reconstruction of the existing production facilities, construction of a double-span shipbuilding hall (250m х 140m х 75m), installation of bridge cranes (350 t in capacity) and state-of-the-art transfer equipment. New facilities will include assembly ways shop, fitting out shop and mechanical assembly shop.

The modernization will let the shipyard be considered as a potential site for construction of the Leader type icebreaker. As Aleksey Rakhmanov, President of United Shipbuilding Corporation, told IAA PortNews, the only shipyard that has technical capabilities for construction of the Leader type icebreakers, the designing of which is underway, is Feodosia, Crimea based Zaliv. In case of successful advance of the project and awarding of the contract to USC this construction can also be performed by Severnaya Verf shipyard where USC is going to concentrate building of large capacity ships. The design of the icebreaker is being developed by Krylov State Research Center and it will take about three years. Different variants of such vessels are under consideration – from 60 MW to 120 MW. According to Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, the country needs at least 3 Leader type icebreakers.

Vyborg Shipyard

Besides, icebreakers are under construction at Vyborg Shipyard in the Leningrad Region which is also building fishing ships. Vyborg Shipyard told IAA PortNews it is set to deliver two icebreakers of Project IBSV01 intended for Novoportovskoye field, Andrey Vilkitsky and Aleksandr Sannikov, in 2018. Initially, the icebreakers were to be delivered before 2018.

Also, Vyborg Shipyard is building a diesel-electric icebreaker Ob of Project Aker Arc 124 for FSUE Atomflot. The ship was laid down on 27 September 2016.

Moreover, under the order of the Non-profit Partnership North-West Fishery Consortium, Vyborg Shipyard is going to start building six crab-fishing vessels from 2019; under the contracts with different fishing companies the shipyard is supposed to build eight freezing trawlers of KMT design.

It must be said that mid-size and large-size shipbuilding of Saint-Petersburg will soon face competition with the Zvezda project being implemented by a Consortium of investors headed by Rosneft and being provided with a strong administrative support. Shipbuilding complex in the Primorsky Territory is going to take over large scale shipbuilding orders for offshore projects. In particular, it can be awarded with the order for construction of Leader type icebreakers. It is the Far East shipbuilding facility that will build a series of LNG powered Aframax ships starting from 2020.

Vitaly Chernov