"The Arctic" is adrift

The Federal Security Service and the Prosecutor General's Office will investigate the situation around Russia's atomic icebreaker.
The construction of the main nuclear icebreaker LK-60YA "Arctic" required the intervention of Vladimir Putin - only he was able to decide to move the project from 2017 to 2019. Serial "Siberia" and "Ural" will be delivered in 2021 and 2022. The failure of the deadline, one of the key reasons for which was the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, may turn into a scandal: the president has already instructed to take "personnel and organizational and managerial decisions," the Accounts Chamber, the Prosecutor General's Office and the FSB will begin inspections. The customer, Rosatom, and the contractors, in particular the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), can respond. But the sources of Kommersant do not expect high-profile dismissals, because the project was launched even when Rosatom was headed by the first deputy head of the presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko.

As it became known to Kommersant, in May, Vladimir Putin instructed to postpone the deadline for the delivery of the main nuclear icebreaker LK-60YA Arktika from 2017 to 2019. In addition, the president demanded to take personnel and organizational and managerial decisions in connection with the failure of the state contract. In parallel, the Accounts Chamber, the Prosecutor General's Office and the FSB should conduct a project check, told Kommersant two sources familiar with the situation; The fact of the assignment was confirmed in USC. Contact with the press secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov failed, in the "Rosatom" declined to comment.

About the construction of the "Arctic" Atomflot (owned by nuclear icebreakers, controlled by Rosatom) and LLC Baltic Shipyard (BZS, part of USC) agreed in 2012. Money for the icebreaker - 37 billion rubles. - Provided budget. In 2014, another two icebreakers of the series, Siberia and the Urals, were awarded a contract worth 84.4 billion rubles. The "Arctic" was to be commissioned in late 2017, "Siberia" - at the end of 2019, "Ural" - at the end of 2020. As a source in USC told Kommersant, the request of the BSC to Atomflot for the transfer of the delivery of the Arctic to mid-2019 triggered a violent reaction: FSUE transferred it to Rosatom, the latter to the government, and then to the Security Council. As a result, the appeal reached Vladimir Putin.

According to the source of Kommersant in the government apparatus, the letter went through the profile vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin, and before sending the document to the president at a meeting with the participation of Security Council representatives (Secretary Nikolai Patrushev) and the board of the Military Industrial Commission (MIC, head - Dmitry Rogozin) The parties dispersed in ways of solving the problem. The Security Council insisted that the terms should not change, members of the board ironically offered to "try to find a technical specialist" who would say that this is realizable. Yesterday, according to Kommersant's information, Mr. Rogozin gave USC, Rosatom, Kirov-Energomash (KEM, a member of OAO Kirovsky Zavod) and other assignments entrusted to the construction of the icebreaker, which obliged them to agree on the final construction schedules . In the USC they say that in the near future the management of Rosatom and the corporation plans to hold an on-site meeting at the KEM and the BSC on the completion dates and necessary measures.

The key problem of the "Arctic" was the turbines. They had to be supplied by the Ukrainian Kharkov turbine plant, but after 2014 the supplier had to be replaced by the KEM. The source of Kommersant in the government says that there are no serious technical difficulties: at the KEM stand the first turbine is being tested, the second one should be tested by October. In the USC, "Kommersant" complained about personnel problems, a large time gap in the implementation of similar projects, the loss of competencies, the reworking of the technical project and documentation.

In general, the contractors of the icebreaker shift the blame in disrupting the timing of each other. Thus, in the USC, it is believed that manufacturers of steam turbine units (KEM) and electromotive systems (FSUE Krylov State Research Center - Krylovsky State Research Center) have become weak links in the cooperation. At the Kirov plant, Kommersant reported that during the execution of the contract for the "Arctic" there are inspections that "do not reveal any violations of legislation by the plant." The company added that Krylovsky SSC for more than two years delayed the supply of generators. Mikhail Zagorodnikov, executive director of the Krylovsky State Research Center, believes that the delay in the deadlines is the fault of the USC: the competition was held for five months, while the technical project was ready in 2009, working design began only in 2013 (details of the mutual claims of USC, KEM and Krylovsky SSC - see "Online"). In the Prosecutor General's Office, the Accounts Chamber, the FSB did not respond to inquiries from Kommersant. The Ministry of Industry and Trade says that the issue is under the control of its leadership, while the USC with the parties concerned takes measures to enter the schedule.

According to the source of Kommersant in the government, the "debriefing" will affect the officials of USC and Rosatom, who did not notify in advance about the difficulties, putting the White House and the Kremlin in front of the failure of the state contract. Kommersant's interlocutors in the industry recognize that it may be difficult to find those responsible for the breakdown: the contractors for the "Arctic" were selected by the ex-head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko, now the first deputy head of the presidential administration. Therefore, loud dismissals should not be expected, one source of Kommersant is convinced. The BZS also delayed the delivery of both the LK-25 diesel icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin and the floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov. According to Kommersant's information, at the end of 2015 the question of the resignation of the head of the BJC Aleksey Kadilov was considered in USC, but the decision was not accepted. At the same time, the source of Kommersant, close to Atomflot, is convinced that the Arctic will not be surrendered by the middle of 2019. But, according to Kommersant's information, at the USC level, the question of changing the general director of the BSC from May was not raised.

Director of the consulting center "Gekon" Mikhail Grigoriev believes that the main reason for the delay was the delay in deliveries from the Kirov plant. The work with suppliers is not enough, the volumes of financing have not been fully determined, the expert notes. At present nuclear icebreakers Taimyr and Vaigach are in operation, the resource of their nuclear facilities is prolonged, which can not happen indefinitely, argues Mr. Grigoriev, when the icebreaker Yamal leaves, only the icebreaker "50 Years of Victory" will remain of the class "Arctic" . In his opinion, if there are only four icebreakers by 2022, this is not enough, since a sharp increase in the flow of cargo from oil and gas fields, from Vostokugol and Norilsk Nickel is expected, there are attempts to increase transit through the Northern Sea Route. By 2022, at least two new double-homing icebreakers must be built, the expert believes.

But so far business has not expressed an unequivocal demand for new icebreakers. Thus, interlocutors of Kommersant in the market believe that the delay with the icebreakers will not have a serious impact on the operation of the Prirazlomnaya platform and the Novoportovskoye field of Gazprom Neft or the NOVATEK project Yamal LNG. "With the Prirazlomnaya and the New Port ice-class tankers, and so go without icebreakers, the gas carriers for Yamal LNG were designed for independent movement in ice," says a Kommersant source. In his opinion, the lack of a sufficient number of icebreakers can narrow the window for sending LNG from Yamal to the east until June-October. It can not be ruled out that gas carriers in winter may require icebreaker support at the entrance to the navigable canal in the Obskaya Guba, but icebreakers of the Arctic type can handle this.

How the contractors of the icebreaker "Arctic" explain the failure of delivery deadlines

The blame for the forced postponement of the delivery of the 22220 Arktika icebreaker for 2019, the key contractors of the project, are laid on each other. One of the key reasons for the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC, the contractor) is the low rate of manufacturing by the Kirov-Energomash plant (KEM, a part of OAO Kirovsky Zavod) of a steam turbine plant with the fully completed Baltiysky Zavod Shipbuilding Ltd. (BZS, Structure of USC) obligations to finance the work. According to the serial icebreakers 22220 "Siberia" and "Ural", problems with the supplies of replaced equipment have been solved, except for the same steam-turbine units, added to the corporation. Repeated checks on the problematic issues of the construction of the Arctic are being carried out at the initiative of the USC for a long time, and they note that they sent appeals to the government and the Prosecutor General's Office, administrative and criminal cases were opened. USC and BZS took the necessary measures, which allowed to squeeze the gap of terms to one year, although suppliers provoked a two-year lag, the corporation says. Now the CCP in court charges the CEM forfeit for the failure of the deadline (see "b-SPb" on March 12). Administrative and personnel decisions can be adopted and implemented after the completion of the key task - the completion of the "Arctic", believe in USC.

The Kirov plant says that the checks on the "Arctic" "do not reveal any violations of the legislation by the plant," and complain about the delay in the supply of generators by the Krylov City Research Center for more than two years. The first generator was received by KEM in September 2016, the second - at the end of January this year. KEM also invested 1.4 billion rubles. (Including 0.5 billion rubles from a loan from the Industrial Development Fund) to build a test bench for turbines up to 75 MW, say at the Kirov plant, recalling that it was originally intended to be carried out at the stand of the Ukrainian "Turboatom", which became impossible in the current Foreign policy situation.

The executive director of the Krylovsky SSC, Mikhail Zagorodnikov, places a part of the blame in the delay on the USC, which delayed the tender for supply of equipment for the BZS for five months, which reduced the SSC time for development. He adds that a big role was played by the gap between the technical and operational design of the icebreaker: "The technical project was ready in 2009, and working design began in 2013. We had to redesign all systems, which was not part of our contractual obligations. "

The interlocutor of "Kommersant" in the shipbuilding industry believes that the problems in the construction of the "Arctic" are "80% objective." "The BZS has difficulties with technical documentation: the customer is not satisfied with all the technical solutions that the creators offer," he notes. "Many decisions are sent for revision, which is understandable: the product is complex, icebreakers of this capacity are being built here for the first time. It should be noted that the customer allocated enough money for the construction and in this respect did not offend the plant. " Alexei Kadilov, the source of the BZS's source, considers Kommersant to be a "competent manager," but notes that the Baltic plant lost "too many strong personnel" in its time.