New ships for Arctic Oil Boom

Arctic exploration will get a considerable boost with 20 million euro investment coming from the Russian state owned Shipbuilding Corporation (OSK) and Finnish engine maker Wartsila.

­The companies have agreed to establish a joint venture for construction of new vessels for Arctic exploration.

OSK President Roman Trotsenko, says the establishment of joint venture with one of the industry leaders “will be concentrated on production of diesel engines for icebreakers” which according to Trotsenko is a very complex process involving assembly of gear units for ships, steering columns, and axles.

Trotsenko adds that Russia should obtain good equipment to finalize its core projects in Arctic
“Without these ships all plans for Arctic development would remain on paper.  Russia should learn how to make this,” Trotsenko said.

The investment will be divided according to the partners share in the JV where OSK gets 51% and Warsila’s 49%, however Trotsenko noted that they may need more “I think that we will start from 20 million euro in joint investment. If more is needed we will move further,” Trotsenko said.

The site for the JV is now being selected said Trotsenko noting that two production facilities have been chosen for specific assembly process
“We see foundry capacity at the Baltic Plant and assembly capacity at the Proletarsky Plant. The steer-columns will probably be assembled in Arkhangelsk while gear-cutting equipment will be manufactured in St. Petersburg,” he said

Wartsila has considerable experience of building seagoing vessels for Russia. Two nuclear icebreakers for the USSR, the Taimyr and Vaigach, were built at the company's yard in Helsinki. These ships are still part of Russia's nuclear fleet.