In its bid to conquer the Arctic shelf, Rosneft is ready to engage extensively in Russian shipbuilding. The company has now got the Kremlin`s blessing for the acquisition of four yards, among them the Shipyard No 82 in Roslyakovo, newspaper Kommersant reports.
The motivation for the engagement in shipbuilding is the company`s major ambitions in Arctic waters. Over the last years, Rosneft has acquired a significant number of offshore licenses and signed comprehensive Arctic cooperation agreements with foreign companies like ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil.
Talking with Vladimir Putin at a recent meeting about shipbuilding developments, Rosneft leader Igor Sechin requested the President to issue a decree, which brings the Murmansk yard into the fold of the oil company. Analysts believe Rosneft will modernize the yard to make it able to build large-capacity vessels.
With its takeover of the Roslyakovo yard, the company apparently encroaches on the interests not only of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, Russia`s leading state shipbuilding company, but also on the Navy. Today, the Roslyakovo yard is an important facility for the Northern Fleet.
Similarly, Rosneft`s bid for the Navy yard to a certain extent also illustrates the current balance of power in the Kremlin corridors. The takeover of Roslyakovo signals that Rosneft and its leader Igor Sechin is able to get more or less whatever it be, even key Navy objects. According to Kommersant, Commander in Chief of the Navy, Viktor Chirkov, has already given his “principle approval” of the deal.
Rosneft`s takeover of the four Russian yards comes as the United Shipbuilding Corporation is under major criticism for its handling of a major modernization plan for the Zvezda Yard in the Russian Far East. As previously reported, a new consortium which includes Rosneft (40%), Gazprombank (40%) and the United Shipbuilding Corporation (20%) is likely to be established to follow up the modernization of the Zvezda and three other yards.