No money for new icebreakers

Experts doubt in the need for new icebreakers.

Nobody is willing to pay for two already ordered new nuclear icebreakers, if the Russian budget doesn’t cover the full price.


Ministry of Finances will cover only 30-40% of the two new icebreakers cost, and Rosatom - the future owner of the ships, doesn’t know how to find the rest 56 billion rubles (about €1,4 billion) to cover the construction price.

Large oil and gas companies - main potential clients for the new icebreakers are not willing to finance the project. They also don’t hurry up to sign concrete freight contracts, Kommersant reports.

Ministry of Finances can’t agree with Ministry of Economic Affairs and Rosatom about the scheme of financing for two LK-60 nuclear icebreakers project 22220.

In November 2012 Ministry of Economic Affairs agreed a draft decree to cover the full cost from the federal budget. It hasn’t changed the position, but Ministry of Finances insists more than 60% of the costs should be allocated from non-budgetary sources.

Rosatom also expected the ships would be built on budget money. The state corporation is not ready to finance the construction, as it has already had a lot of investment projects.

The compromise could be found at the meeting with vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin later this month.

Non-budgetary financial means will make freight tariffs more expensive. Now it costs about $100,000 per day. Some experts believe if the price goes up it’ll be cheaper to use diesel-electric icebreakers. Also, nobody wants to invest in this project, as “Atomflot” company is not profitable, and annually gets subsidies from the state budget.

This situation made experts go back to the debate about the need in new icebreakers. Companies use and build high ice class cargo ships, and ice condition is getting easier each year, so icebreakers won’t be freighted on a regular basis.