In an interview that was recently published, Alexey Rakhmanov, president of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), offered an overview of the state of Russia's shipbuilding industry and the current projects carried on by USC, and opportunities arising from the development of the Northern Sea Route. United Shipbuilding Corporation is a shipbuilding, repair and maintenance company in Russia.
According to Rakhmanov, the shipbuilding industry in Russia has witnessed a notable growth in the past few years. This growth was most significant in sectors like research vessels and nuclear-powered icebreakers, as well as the ice-resistant, self-propelled research platform North Pole.
The main projects that USC is running mainly focus on the construction of nuclear-powered ice-breakers. On that matter Rakhmanov said that the company was in the process of building three nuclear-powered icebreakers, and a contract was signed to build two more [for Atomflot (Rosatom)] in August 2019. By 2026, five LK-60Ya nuclear-powered icebreakers will be operating along the Northern Sea Route. Moreover, USC has been working on the he world’s most powerful diesel-electric icebreaker, the Viktor Chernomyrdin, with a propulsion power of 25 MW. The company's projects have expanded to new areas in simpler ship constructions, particularly tankers.
Answering a question on Russia's international partnerships and cooperation, president of USC commented that India has always been a traditional partner of Russia. There is also an interest in increasing mutually beneficial partnerships with Greek and Southeast Asian companies. He continued: "Our experience with projects related to nuclear-powered icebreakers and solving the challenges for commercial vessels posed by the Northern Sea Route strengthens our position on the world stage. We know how to guarantee the safety of nuclear reactors, especially in marine conditions, and we have been doing so successfully for more than 60 years. This type of experience is found almost nowhere else in the world, except perhaps in the USA."Many challenges arise from sanctions imposed by the United States office of Foreign Assets Control, which makes it difficult for Russian companies to work outside Russia.
"The civil shipbuilding sector is of vital importance to the company, given that the military shipbuilding sector tends to be cyclical."
USC revenues in 2018 amounted to RUB 362 billion [USD 5.86 million] and grew by 3.2% year-on-year compared to 2017. Between 2014 and 2019, those revenues grew an average of 12% each year. For the years 2019-2024, USC has an investment programme of more than RUB 250 billion [USD 4.04 billion]. Part of those investments will be covered by the government when the projects are bigger than the company's capacity.
Source - The Energy Year