Crab crawls from Vyborg shipbuilders

Changes in the rules for issuing quotas for the resource's catch may cost the plant an order of 320 million euros.
The Northwest Fishery Consortium (SZRK) will refuse to build ten crooked boats at the Vyborg Shipyard (VSW, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, USC) if the government adopts a scheme in which 50% of quotas will be played at auctions. The new procedure for allocating crab catch quotas should enter into force in 2018-2019. The plant may lose an order worth € 320 million. It could be replaced by the construction of four icebreakers for LNG with a capacity of 45 MW for Atomflot and the second Ob icebreaker for the Aker Arc124 project, but orders for them still need to be received.

The SZRK will refuse to build a crab-fishing vessel at the VSZ, if the government adopts a scheme according to which 50% of the quotas will be played at auctions, Dmitry Ozersky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SZRK, told Kommersant. The company will have to divert considerable funds to participate in the auctions. The SZRK planned to build up to 10 crab courts in the shipyard (contracts for the construction of six vessels were signed in 2017, agreements for four more vessels were reached earlier this year). The contract value reaches € 320 million.

Half of the quotas for crab extraction, previously allocated on a historical basis, should be distributed through auctions in electronic form. The corresponding item is in the "road map" on the development of competition, which was approved by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The necessary normative acts should be prepared in 2018-2019, the assignment was given to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Agency for Fisheries and the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). According to Mr. Ozersky, SZRK hopes that the final decision on the rules for issuing quotas for the crab catch will be changed. The final decision, according to the source of Kommersant in the industry, is likely to be adopted in 2019, after amending the federal law on fishing and government decree N 719.

The possible transfer of the issuance of quotas for the crab from the historical principle to the auction has been discussed since the end of 2017. The proposal became known from a letter, which was then sent to President Vladimir Putin. The initiative aroused sharp criticism of market participants, who feared the redistribution of the industry with an annual turnover of 120 billion rubles. Sources of Kommersant believe that the idea of ​​the letter came from the former co-owner of the Russian Fishery Company (RRPK) Maxim Vorobyov. In the RRPK, the involvement in the letter was refuted.

According to the general director of the VSZ, Alexander Solovyov, the delay in deciding on the rules for catching crab puts the plant in the position of "moderate severity": the laying of the head crab was planned for the autumn of 2019, but for this it was necessary to sign a firm contract and begin designing "yesterday ". The program of the plant for five years ahead includes the construction of 18 fishing vessels, of which 14 are for SZRK. The shipyard may have a potential order for the construction of four 45MW icebreakers for Atomflot in 2020-2027 and the second serial icebreaker Arc124 12MW (Ob-2) in 2019-2020, Mr. Soloviev said. As previously reported, "Atomflot" will send a commercial request to the shipyard about the cost and construction of ships, which will allow to make a decision on the order in 2019 (see "Kommersant" dated 03.09.2018). The main contender for the construction of LNG icebreakers was the FAZ, but Zvezda (managed by a consortium of Rosneft, Rosneftegaz and Gazprombank) and the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch, could also be invited for proposals.