Q: Mr. Lavonen, the preparation for the 2020 summer navigation season, its beginning, coincided with the spread of COVID-19. As a result, all sectors of the economy have faced with certain challenges. How did this situation affect Northern River Shipping?
A: The NRSL divisions are located in different geographical locations in the North Russia – the Arkhangelsk region, Tyumen, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district – Sabetta, Oil&Gas Field Utrenny, Yamburg. During the preparation period for the summer navigation, and at the beginning of it, we had a quite complicated task to move our personnel to various destinations to continue our operations.
It should be borne in mind that the relocation of employees, due to the new rules and requirements, has become a complex process that requires certain costly procedures. This, of course, has slowed down our work in the short navigation. However, we do this because it is a guarantee that our divisions will function normally. Today, our shipping company has signed contracts with specialized medical organizations based in Tyumen, in Novy Urengoy, where our employees, if necessary, can undergo all the necessary testing, quarantine and observation.
Q: Many enterprises have found themselves in a difficult economic situation since the quarantine measures became effective. How did you manage to keep the shipping company afloat?
A: Thank God, there has been no positive tests for COVID-19 among our personnel so far. Besides, the entire staff of the shipping company has become more united, everyone tries to work smoothly as one team. Of course, the measures taken by the government on tax deferrals and benefits were timely. This also allowed our company to stay afloat, take on a rhythm, avoid layoffs, save all jobs, and continue our activities with the same team.
Q: Mr. Lavonen, tell us how the NRSL’s summer navigation goes ahead?
A: For the first time, NRSL during this navigation started participating in a large-scale project in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District for the delivery of cargo and arrangement for the construction of a GMS and an external transport gas pipeline at the Semakovsky gas field. The Semakovskoe gas field project is being implemented by Gazprom" and RusGazDobycha. Rusgasalyance has commenced drilling for the field development project Phase 1.
We have been preparing for this contract for the entire previous year, and the shipping company will implement this project in several phases.
Q: What exactly is your company doing within the framework of this project?
Since June, a NRSL’s separate division in Labytnangi (“NRSL-Yamal") provides the reception, storage and delivery of pipes from railcars, loading to our inland fleet and delivery of load to the Yamburg settlement. From mid-July, our specialists will have to prepare an access channel to the Semakovsky field within twenty days. In the third decade of August, after equipping two berths on the Tar-Yakha river, we will move cargoes directly to the gas field. We have about 30 barges that will deliver pipe products, mobile housing units, equipment, machinery, and construction materials. In adition, we will transport 5,500 tonnes oil products. In line with the project schedule, in September, we will be arranging a year-round rotational village for NRSL employees in the area of gas field development.
The start of commercial production at the Semakovsky field is slated for 2022.
Q: How many vessels has NRSL deployed at this stage?
A: Currently, the following barges: 2708, 2706, MP-483, 2559, MP-526, MP-515, 2703, 2700, motor vessels: "Karelia", "Korshakovo", "Oleg Gusev" and towboats: "Mechanic Krasotkin", "RT-816", "RT-815", "RT-642", "Plotovod-699", "Engineer V. F. Fadeyev", "OT-2047", "RT-602", "RP-615".
Q: What other plans for this navigation have already been implemented?
A: The company has almost completed the planned transportation along the Northern Dvina. ATBs and convoys were also operating on the Vychegda River, transporting timber along the Mundas-Koryazhma route. A group of tugs worked in the area of the Vaga River.
The water in the Northern Dvina is rapidly falling, and the depths are not navigable. If the water level does not fall, we will continue to work on requests.
Q: What plans are still to be implemented in this navigation season?
A: This year we are going to handle another large-scale project for delivery of cargoes to the Kharasavey gas condensate field. We will also have to set up several unloading points at Kharasavey. In a shortest possible time, we plan to transport a large volume of cargo for Gazprom Bureniye LLC under a contract with Spetsprofalliance LLC. To do this, NRSL will have to carry out about 20 ship voyages. The transport will involve Sormovsky type river-sea vessels, and STK river-sea ships, which will depart from origination points from Arkhangelsk and Yamburg.
Text: Isabella ZASETSKAYA
Photo: Roman KAZAKOV