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Russian shipyards eye Arctic offshore and shipping boost

Russian shipyards eye Arctic offshore and shipping boost
Despite issues such as labour supply and poor quality supply chains, Russia’s shipyards are eyeing a major boost from Arctic shipping and oil exploration.

According to Kiril Voroshilov, first deputy director of Vyborgsk Shipyard, a part of United Shipbuilding Corporation, Russia’s position in the shipbuilding world has slipped over the last 20 years with its yards having size and deadweight restrictions.

Speaking at a seminar for Offshore Marintec 2014, Voroshilov said that among the factors hampering Russia’s shipbuilding sector were lack of skilled workers, a lack of both internal and external cooperation and poor local supply chains for the yards.

“Nevertheless Russia is still very competitive in high-tech and unique vessels,” he said.

The move into the Arctic by both shipping and offshore is set to boost the business of Russian yards.  Industry drivers for shipbuilding would include the Northern Sea Route, arctic oil fields and new LNG developments he said. Other drivers are the use of river transportation and fleet renewal.

For example Rosneft has licenses for 44 oil fields and is expected to produce its first Arctic oil in 2015.

Vyborgsk Shipyard is keen on partnerships with yards in Asia. It has previously cooperated with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) on building two platforms for Gazprom with the Russian yard building hulls and SHI the topsides. “The project with SHI turned out to be very effective,” he said.