The shipyard of Rosneft will build a super-powerful icebreaker "Leader"

The project of a huge nuclear icebreaker with an estimated value of 70 billion rubles will receive the shipyard of the "Zvezda" shipyard in Primorye. Earlier, the insane project of this icebreaker was tormented by the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC).
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Heavy nuclear icebreaker "Leader" will be built in the Far East, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Oleg Ryazantsev at the International Far Eastern Marine Salon on Friday, July 27. The

The representative of the Ministry of Industry refused refused to specify which shipyard Ryazantsev had in mind in the region. The icebreaker will build the Zvezda Far East shipbuilding complex, a source from RIA Novosti reported and RBC confirmed the interlocutor close to one of the members of the working group that considered this issue. Zvezda, which Rosneft is developing in a consortium with Rosneftegaz and Gazprombank, will become the largest cluster of civil shipbuilding in the country. The partners plan to introduce the first stage of the shipyard in 2019, and the second - in 2024.

"The shipbuilding complex" Zvezda "has all the necessary capacities, equipment and specialists of the appropriate qualification [for the construction of the icebreaker" Leader "]. Shipyard "Zvezda" - the only one that can build a large-block method - it saves money and shortens the construction time ", - said the representative of the shipyard. But he clarified that the decision to build an icebreaker is taken by the state.

"The working group has worked, it has its own conclusion, a report [on the site for the construction of the" Leader "] has been prepared. I think that the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the President of the Russian Federation [Vladimir Putin], during the visit to the Eastern Economic Forum in September, will announce the decision, "Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said on Friday.

In addition to the "Star" for this order fought United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), whose Baltic plant historically engaged in the construction of nuclear vessels. Head of USC Alexei Rakhmanov said that at the shipyards of the corporation the icebreaker can be built in about three and a half years. The representative of the corporation has not yet responded to the request of RBC.

The nuclear-powered icebreaker "Leader" with a capacity of 120 MW and a full displacement of more than 71,000 tons should become the only vessel of this class and can provide the widest year-round wiring of vessels along the Northern Sea Route necessary for the development of Arctic projects. "If icebreakers" Leader "are still suitable, then this will mean a 100 per cent chance that 12 months a year we will be able to carry our LNG to the east along the Northern Sea Route," said Leonid Mikhelson, chairman and co-owner of NOVATEK, in an interview with Kommersant. Now ice-class tankers can overcome the eastern direction of the Northern Sea Route without the use of icebreakers, where the ice thickness reaches 4 m, only during the summer navigation - several months a year, beginning in July.

In 2017, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexander Tsybulsky estimated the construction price of the "Leader" at about 70 billion rubles. Public-private partnership was discussed as a possible financing scheme, but the final version was not announced yet.

The choice in favor of the "Star" does not look obvious: construction will take longer and cost the customer more than at the Baltic plant, General Director of Professional Complex Solutions Daniil Novitsky told RBC. Zvezda did not intend to build icebreakers in nuclear power plants, so there is no special power engineering department at the shipyard, and without it, it is impossible to build a "Leader", he explains.

The "Star" has no experience of work, not only with nuclear facilities, but in building ships in general, and one can imagine what will happen if specialists gain experience and competence on such a complex and expensive project, adds Nadezhda Malysheva, Port Development Director . She doubts that Rosneft will attract the competence of USC for the joint construction of the icebreaker. "Based on the previous discussion of the companies, they will not be happy with this option, the expert points out.