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Vladimir Putin visits Zvezda Shipyard

11 September 2023
Photo: Alexei Danichev / RIA Novosti

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Zvezda Shipyard in the town of Bolshoi Kamen in Primorsky Territory. During the visit, the Head of State took part in the naming ceremony of two reinforced ice-class vessels. The event was attended by Igor Sechin, Chief Executive Officer of Rosneft; Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District; and Sergey Tseluyko, General Director of Zvezda Shipyard.

The unique shuttle tanker built by order of Rosnefteflot was named in honor of Valentin Pikul, a famous Soviet writer and author of numerous works of fiction on historical and naval subjects. Elena Serova, pilot-cosmonaut, a native of Primorsky Territory and a Hero of the Russian Federation, became the ship's godmother. The vessel is intended for oil transportation and capable of navigating the waters of the northern seas independently, without an icebreaker escort. The shuttle tanker is equipped with a bow loading gear for receiving oil directly from a fixed offshore ice-resistant terminal.

Photo: Pavel Pobedyakov /RIA Novosti

The LNG tanker built by order of Sovcomflot was named after Alexey Kosygin, a prominent Soviet politician and statesman, twice Hero of Socialist Labor. Tatyana Kurleyeva, an Honored Doctor of the Russian Federation, Chief Doctor of the Primorsky Territory Perinatal Center, became the godmother of the vessel.

ARC 7 ice-class LNG tankers are designed to transport liquefied natural gas and are able to operate in harsh climatic conditions and overcome ice 2 meters thick. The vessel is propelled by three unique steerable thrusters, the production of which is localized in Bolshoi Kamen at Sapphire Pod Drive Plant. For many years, such types of vessels have been ordered exclusively abroad. Their construction is one of the most technologically complex processes in the global shipbuilding industry.

Vladimir Putin congratulated the plant employees and the crew of the new vessels.

"Today’s event is important for the Russian shipbuilding, for the country's transportation industry. Two new civil fleet vessels will be given their names. The oil tanker will bear the name of Valentin Savvich Pikul, a much-loved writer, whose work is largely devoted to the Russian history, our fleet, and the defenders of our Far Eastern borders. The gas tanker is named after Alexey Kosygin, a statesman, Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, a man who made a huge contribution to the development of the Far East, our entire country, the economy and its key industries, who proved himself a talented organizer during the Great Patriotic War," said the Russian President during the naming ceremony.

Photo: Pavel Pobedyakov /RIA Novosti

Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that the new vessels will be worthy of these famous names. "After all, these marine vessels are modern, powerful, equipped with the latest technology and without exaggeration are one of the best in their class globally. They are capable of operating at extremely low temperatures, in harsh climatic conditions, passing through ice barriers, transporting large volumes of oil and gas," he said.

"I would like to thank Zvezda Shipyard’s engineers, designers and workers - all those who have invested their talent, labor, professional knowledge in the construction of the new vessels, working with maximum dedication," said the President of the Russian Federation. - Your great team will have to address new important tasks, in that number increasing localization of production and ensuring wide application of domestic developments and solutions. I am absolutely confident that the localization level at Zvezda will constantly increase with each new ship delivered".

Valentin Pikul and Alexey Kosygin are two more ships successfully built at Zvezda Shipyard. A total of 12 vessels have been launched at the Shipyard, 4 Aframax tankers with a total deadweight of 450,000 tons have been handed over to customers, active work is ongoing to build 23 more ships out of more than 50 vessels in the company's backlog of orders. The total deadweight of the orders exceeds 3 million tons.

Today, Zvezda is the most modern shipyard in Russia, specializing in the construction of all types of offshore production platforms, icebreakers and large-capacity civil ships - the basis of the Russian Arctic fleet. The Shipyard is being created on the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Rosneft acting as the project operator.

During the visit, the President also familiarized himself with the construction progress of two ARC7 ice breaking LNG tankers, the hulls of which are currently being shaped in the dry dock. Vladimir Putin was also shown "Vostochny Prospect" Aframax-type tanker, which is being prepared for the sea trials, a multi-functional supply vessel Svyataya Maria, as well as Ivan Aivazovsky MR tanker and Pyotr Stolypin gas carrier. Building ships of such types is a unique experience for the entire Russian shipbuilding industry. 

Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office

"The development of such a fleet is of great importance for our country - the Arctic power, it is in demand for the implementation of our Arctic development long-term strategy to ensure reliable transportation on the Northern Sea Route, on global transportation and logistics routes in order to reinforce the energy security of our country and the whole world" - said Vladimir Putin during his visit.

In addition, the President also got acquainted with the construction progress of new facilities: five new workshops and three warehouse complexes, the total area of which exceeds 165 square meters.  Workshops for primary processing of steel and rolled metal, cleaning and priming of metal sheets and profiles, cutting steel, curved and panel blocks will soon increase technological capabilities of Zvezda Shipyard.

Construction of Zvezda Shipyard is being carried out at a record pace: in less than 7 years since the start of construction activity, key technological challenges have already been addressed at the Shipyard, the main facilities have been put into operation and are functioning – a hull production shop, paint booths, a block assembly shop, an open-air heavy outfitting dock with a fleet of unique cranes, a pipe processing shop, the most modern and productive in Russia.

Pilot workload of the complex is secured by Rosneft, which signed an exclusive agreement with Zvezda on placing with the Shipyard all orders for new marine facilities and shipbuilding. Currently, the company's portfolio of orders includes 26 ships.

Zvezda Shipyard is the locomotive of Primorsky Territory's economy, providing orders for allied industries and sectors. Expansion of the production potential of the shipbuilding cluster leads to a comprehensive modernization of the transport and socially critical infrastructure of the region: railway transportation service is developing, new access roads are being built.

Zvezda Shipyard stands as one of largest taxpayers in the region. Over the past six years, its tax payments to budgets of different levels have increased almost 14 times. The Shipyard is also the region's leading employer. About 11,000 Shipyard and contractor employees currently work there.

To provide comfortable living environment for shipbuilders, Rosneft builds new residential quarters of multi-storey houses with comfortable apartments. To date, 36 residential buildings for 2,506 apartments in four microdistricts of the city of Bolshoy Kamen have been put into operation. Construction is ongoing of another 47 residential buildings for 3,489 apartments. The intention is to construct 80 residential buildings for 5,795 apartments by the end of 2024. The total area of residential development under the program will be 300,000 sq. m over 8 years.

Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office

In order to provide the most technological and modern Shipyard with highly qualified personnel, Rosneft is creating professional training bases in the region.  The Far Eastern Shipbuilding College is the main platform for training shipbuilders and ship repairers. The College is a participant in the 2022-2023 "Proficiency" Federal Program. Zvezda's main production workers are trained on the basis of the Shipbuilding College, while students' practical training is arranged at the Shipyard.

In addition, Rosneft is creating an engineering center that will be engaged in addressing tasks in the area of production and import substitution for domestic shipbuilding and ship repair, as well as in developing innovative technologies. The center will serve as a basis for training and retraining of personnel. The project is being implemented as part of establishing a comprehensive multifunctional techno park on Russian Island.

The creation of professional training centers in the region contributes to the development of the labor market of the entire Far East.

As part of the President's visit to Zvezda Shipyard, Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin reported to the Head of State on the progress of Vostok Oil, the large-scale upstream project in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. 

"One of the competitive advantages of the Vostok Oil project is its unique geography. Thanks to the direct access to the transport artery, the Northern Sea Route, feedstock can be delivered to the most promising markets in the shortest possible time. However, at least 50 new units of the icebreaker and transport fleet will be required to arrange supplies and ensure loading of the Northern Sea Route," Igor Sechin told the President. - And here Zvezda Shipyard - the first center of high-tech shipbuilding in Russia and one of the leading shipyards in the Asia-Pacific region - plays a primary role."

Igor Sechin also presented to Vladimir Putin a program for the construction of new-generation shift housing complexes for workers of Rosneft's upstream facilities. To ensure comfortable accommodation for shift workers, the Company has built modern residential shift complexes equipped with everything necessary for life and recreation. Shift camps are based on the principle of hotel complexes, where state-of-the-art digital solutions are implemented to organize the employees' everyday life: location-based dispatch services, leisure and training, catering and transport management. The production sites have modern canteens, laundries, stores and cafeterias, as well as sports and gyms equipped with modern sports gear are open.

Information Division
September 11, 2023