Arctic shipping and offshore boosts Russian Register

Georgiy Bedrik Georgiy Bedrik

The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is seeing a boost in business coming from the growing interest in shipping via the Northern Sea Route and the development LNG and offshore projects in the Arctic region.

“In the Russia now there is a newbuilding programme for the ice breakers and currently we have six icebreakers under construction including one nuclear ice breaker,” Georgiy Bedrik, head of RS’ business development division told Seatrade Global at Marintec China 2013 last week.

Bedrik said that this was the largest number of icebreakers built in a decade and the register believes more orders will be made next year including for two more nuclear powered icebreakers. RS has a special division for nuclear powered icebreakers covering design, construction and operations.

He explained that the biggest driver for ordering of new icebreakers was the development of the Northern Sea Route as well increased activity at Russian harbours and fleet replacement.

RS also sees opportunities in the LNG carriers sector and is currently involved in its first four 170,000 cu m LNG newbuildings under construction in South Korea.

“We see this market [LNG] has very good prospects due to the upcoming projects especially in the north of Russia such as the Yamal LNG project,” Bredrik said.

Slots to build 16 LNG carriers with an ice class Arc7 have been booked at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering to serve the planned Yamal LNG project.  “These vessels will be the first LNG carriers with such a high ice class,” Bedrik explained. Given the harsh environment the vessels would operate in deck equipment would require to be able to operate in temperatures of minus 52 Celsius.

The Yamal LNG project has all the required permits and is pending a final investment decision.

Further business could also be seen from activity in the offshore sector in the Arctic.

“Of course we are really closely following the development of North offshore because there were many licenses given to Rosneft and Gazprom and next year they will start exploration drilling,” he said.

Posted 11 December 2013

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News