Putin visits Zvezda complex, attends naming of Sovcomflot LNG carrier

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has visited the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, located in Bolshoi Kamen, Primorsky Territory, taking part in the naming ceremony of two reinforced ice-class carriers.

Courtesy of Zvezda

The first vessel, the shuttle tanker, built by the order of Rosnefteflot, was named after the Soviet writer Valentin Pikul. According to Zvezda, this vessel is designed to transport oil and is capable of independently navigating without icebreaker support in the waters of the northern seas. The carrier is equipped with a bow-loading device to receive oil directly from a stationary offshore ice-resistant berth.

The second vessel, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, built by the order of Sovcomflot, was named after the Soviet politician and statesman Alexei Kosygin. Zvezda said the ice-class LNG carriers ARC 7 are designed to transport LNG and are able to operate in harsh climatic conditions and overcome ice two meters thick.

After expressing gratitude to all involved in the making of the ships, Putin noted: “Your large team will have to solve new important tasks, including increasing the localization of production, the widespread use of domestic developments and solutions. I am absolutely sure that with each new ship delivered, the level of localization on Zvezda will constantly increase.”

Putin also remarked that the vessels are “modern and powerful, equipped with the latest technology,” and “without exaggeration, one of the best in their class in the world.”

Valentin Pikul and Alexei Kosygin are the latest ships built at the complex. According to Zvezda, in total, 12 vessels have already been launched at the shipyard, four Aframax tankers with a total deadweight of 450,000 tons have been handed over to customers and another 23 vessels out of more than 50 in the company’s order portfolio are actively being built. The total deadweight of orders exceeds 3 million tons, Zvezda said.

The Zvezda shipyard, specializing in the construction of all types of offshore production platforms, icebreakers and large-tonnage civil vessels, is being created on behalf of Putin, and the project operator is the Rosneft company.

Courtesy of Zvezda

To note, during the visit, Putin also got acquainted with the construction progress of two ice-breaking LNG gas tankers of the ARC 7 ice class and was shown the Aframax tanker Vostochny Prospekt, which is already preparing for sea trials, the multifunctional supply vessel St. Maria, as well as the MR tanker Ivan Aivazovsky and the gas carrier Pyotr Stolypin.

Additionally, Russia’s President got acquainted with the progress of the construction of new facilities. Zvezda said that in less than seven years from the start of production activities at the shipyard, key technological problems have already been solved and the main facilities have been put into operation and are operating.

Putin commented: “The development of such a fleet is of great importance for our country, an Arctic power, and is in demand for implementation of our long-term strategy for the development of the Arctic, to ensure reliable transportation on the Northern Sea Route, on global transport and logistics routes, to strengthen the energy security of our country and the whole world.”

To remind, in August this year, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex launched a new ice-class ARC 7 LNG carrier for the Arctic LNG 2 project. The vessel, named Sergei Witte, has a capacity of 172,600 m3 and is the third unit in a series of 15 LNG carriers ordered by Sovcomflot and being built to serve Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project.