Russia Gives Top Priority to Commercial Shipbuilding

Russia’s renewed focus on the commercial shipbuilding industry was set as a key aim by Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev in his recent discussions on the development of the sector through 2015.

Various industry ministries have been charged with analysing industry prospects until 2030, with the findings to be submitted by January 2015. The Russian Energy Ministry was instructed to study the needs in the dedicated fleet and other marine solutions for exploration, drilling and the transportation of crude oil, gas and gas condensate by 2030.

This is to be undertaken in conjunction with OAO Rosneft, OAO Gazprom, LUKOIL, JSC NOVATEK and other stakeholders, taking into account the planned production volumes of hydrocarbons while developing offshore fields.

The results will be submitted to the Russian Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the Russian Ministry of Industry, specifying the vessels range, characteristics and the number of vessels needed (per year).

This initiative coincides with other developments including recent amendments to the Russian legislation on foreign investments in strategic companies (including oil and gas companies). The amendments introduce more liberal rules in relation to acquisitions by foreign companies controlled by Russian citizens, certain intra-group restructurings involving foreign investors and acquisitions made by foreign investors that already have control over strategic companies.

Although the major trends in the Russian oil and gas sector over the past year have been primarily influenced by sanctions and weakening oil prices there seems evidence of emerging opportunities and rapid project developments on the horizon.

Rosneft and Sberbank have already submitted claims to challenge the sanctions and a number of other major Russian companies have also declared their intention to do the same.

The Russian shipyards’current order book for civil maritime vessels and facilities for the period until 2030 currently stands at 1,250 units, including more than 40 oil tankers and gas carriers, 300 offshore supply vessels and 150 drilling and survey platforms. The placement of these provisional orders and Russia’s plans to develop its industrial capabilities indicate that construction work will be implemented as new facilities in Asia enter into operation.

Back in December, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev met with  Hu Wenming, chairman of China State Shipbuilding Corporation,  to discuss the issues regarding the development of Far East district, the Arctic navigation route, development of the LNG infrastructure, as well as development of ice-classed ships.

During the visit China Shipbuilding Trading and Russian Far East Development Department signed a “Memorandum of Cooperation on Trade and Investment in the Russian Far East District.”


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