• 2012 October 12

    USC embarks on Bolshoy Kamen project

    Russian and foreign investors’ joint projects of new shipyards in the Far East have been put on ice. Instead, United Shipbuilding Corporation said it would endeavor to implement a solely Russian project on the construction of large-tonnage shipbuilding in Bolshoy Kamen and of a new shipyard in the bay of Five Hunters.

    JV projects shelved

    When United Shipbuilding Corporation was headed by ex-president Roman Trotsenko the Corp. announced two jointures in the Far East in conjunction with South Korean and Singaporean companies for the construction of two shipyards - Zvezda DSME and Vostok Raffles. The idea itself was good enough - by attracting the world’s leading shipbuilding companies to grab new technology and its experience in large-tonnage shipbuilding. However, as PortNews had predicted, the companies suggested that the crisis in global shipbuilding associated with surplus of newbuilds, has made it inappropriate for foreign partners to invest in Russia’s shipbuilding facilities expansion (with hungry shipyards in their own countries), and to transfer its own technology, experience to Russia.

    It was in August, when new President of USC Andrei Dyachkov told PortNews that the Corporation intends to revamp its program for two shipyards construction. But when he attended on October 11 the keel-ceremony for 25 MW icebreaker ordered by Rosmorport he was saying only about a solely Russian project - a new shipbuilding complex at Zvezda Shipyard in Bolshoy Kamen, with could possibly be followed by the construction of a private shipyard in the bay of Five Hunters by 2020.

    The ambitious project of a large-tonnage shipbuilding complex will be carried out in four phases, Andrei Dyachkov said. The first phase includes the construction of a shop for hulls fabrication encompassing 60,000 sqm, scheduled for completion in 2013. The second phase is scheduled to begin in 2013. It includes the construction of a heavy slipway, which will enable building large-tonnage vessels at Zvezda Shipyard. The third phase: building a dry dock.

    The shipyard in the bay of Five Hunters will be specializing in the construction of top-side superstructures of semi-submersible drilling rigs and will focus on execution of orders for the Shtokman gas condensate field and the Yamal fields, so the timing of its construction will be matched with the projects implementation, said Andrey Dyachkov. Noteworthy, the Shtokman project itself has been put on hold.

    The project was endorsed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, during his recent visit to the Far East. According to him, the projected shipyard will build Arctic ships, tankers and gas carriers with displacement of 300,000 tons.

    The Corp. has told PortNews that participation of foreign investors in the project "on this stage” is not stipulated, but in the future they could join the project. “The same South Korean DSME is a leader in the construction of LNG carriers, and we are interested in working with them," said a USC spokesperson. As for "Zvezda DSME» and «Vostok Raffles," in fact, the JV projects have been called off.

    The Far Eastern Shipyard Zvezda specializes in repair and conversion of submarines and the construction of relatively small vessels - refrigerators, trawlers, supply vessels. It’s unlikely that the company has enough experience and skills to organize large-scale production or technology required for this.

    Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Finance Research Institute Sergei Krylov Buyanov, Russia, in principle, would capable of realizing such projects on its own, but with the foreign partners, it would accomplish it much faster. "In Russia, Admiralty Shipyards has already been able to build ships with a displacement of 70,000 tons, so there is no problem to organize the production of larger vessels, we just need to build the appropriate facilities. But the Russian shipbuilders do have experience and competence," he said.

    Vitaly Chernov.